Shock as pensioner loses €2,200 in backdated living allowance

A pensioner whose wife died six years ago has discovered to his shock that he cannot now claim back payments for the living alone allowance of €9 per week beyond a six months period.

The man, who is in his 80s, lives alone in the Letterkenny area and receives the basic pension.

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He says that due to the Department of Social Protection legislation he has been left with a loss of more than €2,200 which he was entitled to.

And Cllr Ian McGarvey has attacked the bureaucracy and lack of information readily available to so many old age pensioners in these circumstances.

The pensioner has requested privacy in highlighting not only his own plight but to warn others who may find themselves in similar circumstances due to a lack of information on their full entitlements.

The pensioner, due not to being aware of his entitlements, says the system deems that he can only be paid retrospectively for the past six months and is entitled to a figure of €234 rather than the sum of almost €2,500 which he thought he was entitled to receive.

The Tirconail Tribune reports that the man said that there was a huge problem of communications with the Dept. of Social Welfare.

He said that after weeks of trying to find ‘a human being’ on the other end of the phone he gave up trying and referred his problems to a local politician.

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