A woman who "took advantage of a situation" received close to $10,000 in benefits and allowances that she shouldn't have.

Rachel Serena Manuel earlier pleaded guilty to 25 counts of forging documents and two counts of dishonestly using a document, offending which saw her wrongly receive $9586.67.

Manuel had been receiving a sickness benefit which became a job seeker's benefit in 2013.

She was also receiving a disability allowance to attend counselling sessions.


It was discovered she only attended 58 of the sessions while she had the allowance between October 2010 and June 2014, though she had submitted documents "repeatedly" saying she attended the sessions, signed by a doctor or registered nurse.

These documents were found to be forged. Manuel had also increased her disability allowance for the counselling.

When her forgery was discovered, Manuel said she was struggling financially and "didn't want to be labelled an invalid", Judge David Smith said in Whanganui District Court last week.

Defence lawyer Anna Brosnahan said Manuel took advantage of the situation and knew she shouldn't have.

"She does apologise for her offending," Ms Brosnahan said.

Judge Smith said Manuel had been "involved in a number of matters which have resulted in convictions", including violence and alcohol-related offences.

He said she had not expressed remorse, but was clearly regretful of the situation she found herself in, according to the pre-sentence report.

Judge Smith sentenced her to six months of home detention.