Scots benefits cheat mum raked in £12,000 in Carers' Allowance

By Ron Moore

A mum has admitted defrauding the taxpayer by claiming £12,000 in benefits to which she was not entitled.

Allison Rankin, 50, collected the cash in Carers’ Allowance payments from the Department for Work and Pensions while continuing to earn cash on the side from her job.

But she did not inform the department of a change in her income which would have affected her claim to entitlements.

Rankin of Bourock Square, Barrhead, appeared at Paisley Sheriff Court yesterday where she pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to give prompt notification to DWP bosses of a change on her circumstances, which she knew would have affected her entitlement to Carers’ Allowance.

Procurator fiscal depute Ed Sheeran told the court Rankin had been involved in wrongfully claiming benefits over three different time periods.

He said: “The Department for Work and Pensions have provided figures which show the sum of £12,000 is involved.

“The overpayment occurred on three periods with the first being from 2013 until 2014.

“The next was between 2014 and 2015 and the third was between 2018 and 2019.

“The DWP has informed us that Ms Rankin is making repayments at instalments of £50 per week.”

Rankin appeared before Sheriff Mark Thorley without legal representation, where she confirmed she was pleading guilty to the charge of claiming benefits on dates between August 2015 and March 2019, to which she was not entitled.

However she was urged to get a lawyer to represent her in court in time for the next hearing.

Sheriff Thorley said: “Given the amount of money involved and I appreciate that you are making repayments, but these repayments will take a considerable period of time.

“We will need to see what can be done and I am prepared to defer sentencing for the preparation of reports and to look into your background.

“A social worker will get in touch with you and you will be given dates to come back to court.

“In the meantime, get a solicitor to represent you.”

Rankin will discover her fate when she appears back at court on October 19.

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