Suffolk

Father claims disability allowance for footballer son

The father of a semi-professional footballer has admitted to falsely claiming £54,327 in disability living allowance for his son.

Anthony Monaghan, 49, pleaded guilty to failing to notify the government about a change in circumstances affecting entitlement to benefit.

His son Grant Monaghan, 23, was filmed by the Department of Work and Pensions playing football for Woodbridge Town.

Anthony Monaghan is due to return to Ipswich Crown Court for sentencing.

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) said Monaghan, from Ipswich, had failed to declare that his son's conditions had improved.

'Valuable funds'

He had been claiming the higher rate of disability living allowance, which the DWP said would have meant that his son was barely able to walk.

The overpayment of £54,327 covered a period from 11 December 2006 to 16 May 2010.

Lord Freud, minister for welfare reform at the DWP, said: "When people receive benefits from us they enter into a contract to tell us of any change in their circumstances.

"Deliberately not doing so is a crime and takes valuable funds from those who need them the most."

Woodbridge Town Football Club play in the Ridgeons Premier Division, which is the fifth tier of non-league football.

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