Man has to sell house and pay DWP £20,000 after ticking wrong box

A man says he had to sell his house and pay the Government £20,000 after ticking the wrong box on a DWP form. Carer George Henderson was taken to court by the Department for Work and Pensions accused of fraudulently claiming benefits.

George told ITV the problem started when he claimed carers allowance in 2010 when he was looking after his son, who has learning difficulties.

He ticked a box to say he was unemployed - thinking the question referred to his son - while he was working in a taxi office. Seven years later he was prosecuted.

George was ordered to wear a tracking tag and had to sell his home to pay back £20,000. This year George received a letter from the DWP saying that George had probably been telling the truth.

A DWP spokesperson said: “We are committed to fairness in the welfare system, with safeguards in place for managing repayments, while protecting the public purse.

“Claimants have a responsibility to inform DWP of any changes in their circumstances that could impact their award, and it is right that we recover taxpayers’ money when this has not occurred.”

George has vowed to clear his name.