Woman jailed for fraudulently claiming £34,000 in benefits

Ms Carcel fraudulently claimed nearly £34,000 in Income Support from Social Security Credit: ITV Channel Television

A woman in Jersey has been jailed for nine months after she was found to have fraudulently claimed almost £34,000 in benefits over four years.

34-year-old Gemma Louise Carcel appeared before the island's Magistrate's Court on Monday.

The government said Ms Carcel failed to inform the Social Security department that her circumstances had changed, and she was no longer eligible for the payments.

The Assistant Social Security Minister, Deputy Malcolm Ferey, said it's important for people who receive Income Support to keep the government up-to-date as there are severe consequences for benefit fraud:

“This case highlights just how quickly overpayments can accumulate when people who claim benefits deliberately fail to inform Customer and Local Services of their change of circumstances in a timely manner.

“I would urge anyone who realises that they have been overpaid Income Support to contact an adviser and get the correct level of benefit into payment as soon as possible. Leaving it will only make the problem worse, which could ultimately end up with a Court appearance and subsequently a criminal record.

“The chances of being caught for making a fraudulent claim only increase with time and the consequences become more acute."

Anyone who suspects someone is fraudulently claiming benefits is able to anonymously report it online by calling 0800 735 1111.