A state pension nightmare unfolds as a 100-year-old woman misses out on £75,000 in instalments spanning decades.
A PENSIONER who spent decades oblivious to the fact that she was entitled to a state pension has been denied £75,000 in benefits.
Margaret Bradshaw, who was born in the United Kingdom but lived and worked for nearly all of her adult life outside of the country, was initially ineligible for a state pension when she returned in 1990. However, the 100-year-old was unaware that she began qualifying after turning 80 in 2001, resulting in her missing out on decades of money.
Helen Cunningham, her 78-year-old daughter, looked into the situation after reading a news report about people who were not claiming pensions.
She learned that her dementia-affected mother, who resides in a care facility, has been entitled to £82.45 each week since she turned 80.
Sir Steve Webb, the former pensions minister, stepped in to help Ms Bradshaw, and she began getting payments two weeks ago.
The former nanny and hotel worker has also got £4,000 in backdated payments, but she will not be reimbursed for the £75,000 she missed out on.
“I read this piece about how thousands of people over 80 aren’t claiming the pension, and it made me wonder if my mum should have been getting it,” Ms Cunningham, who is retired and lives in Egham, Surrey, said.
“Until a few weeks ago, I had never heard of an over 80 pension; we were never told about it when mother turned 80.
“I had been worried about Mother’s financial condition for a while because care homes are expensive, so I was relieved to find she was entitled to more – even though she had been denied for 20 years.
“However, there could be hundreds of additional people out there who are unaware of their rights.”
Ms Bradshaw has accomplished a lot since her birth in 1921, including becoming a grandma nine times and living in Canada for nearly 30 years.
She was not eligible for a state pension at the age of 60 since she had been working abroad and had not paid any national insurance contributions in the UK.
Her daughter, Ms Cunningham, adding, “I expected to be alerted if something like that was available, but it was never mentioned.”
Ms Bradshaw, who had been residing at a care facility in Surrey, had been surviving on a little pension from her work in Canada.
“Brinkwire Summary News,” by Sir Steve Webb.