A WOMAN who was claiming carers allowance for looking after her son failed to reveal that she had started work.

Blackburn magistrates heard the omission resulted in an overpayment of £4,284 in benefits.

And the court was told Teresa Williams had a previous conviction for benefit fraud which had resulted in an overpayment of £9,100.

Williams, 53, of Wordsworth Road, Accrington, pleaded guilty to dishonestly failing to notify a change of circumstances to the Department of Work and Pensions. She was fined £615 with £85 costs and £61 victim surcharge.

Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said evidence became available to the department that Williams had secured employment but continued to claim carers allowance for another 18 months.

Williams told investigators she didn't realise the allowance was affected by earnings because she was still caring for her son despite having a job.

Gareth Price, defending, said it had not been a deliberate attempt to take money from the state to which she was not entitled.

"She chose not to read the correspondence which included the warning about declaration," said Mr Price.

"Because of her son's condition she would have been entitled to other benefits, such as a mobility car, but did not claim for any of them."

Mr Price said the claim for carers allowance had been in place for 13 years and for the majority of that time had been legitimate.

"She apologises and acknowledges her attention to the documentation should have been better, especially in view of the previous conviction," said Mr Price.

He said every penny of the £9,100 overpayment had been repaid.