Kathleen Belch of Lamb Inn Road, Knottingley, defrauded the Department for Work and Pensions by claiming for carers’ allowance for her daughter.
Over a period of six years the 46-year-old failed to notify them that she was working more hours in a job which would have affected her benefit payout.
Admitting two counts of failing to notify the department of a change in her circumstances, she appeared at Leeds Magistrates’ Court on Friday where she turned down legal representation because she said she was guilty.
However, she said she did not know what the wage limit was that would affect her benefits.
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Deputy District Judge Roger Lowe told her: “It’s the best part of £20,000 that you were no entitled to, which is a serious matter.”
She was ordered to carry out 130 hours of unpaid work and told to pay £170 in costs.