Innocent carer's life ruined over 30p a week benefit claim error

Retro

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This tory government and their bureaucratic institutions really are heartless. Read how they ruined this poor guy's life, a dad who looked after his disabled son over a tickbox error leading to just a 30p a week extra benefit that he wasn't entitled to. It's now costing the government thousands after putting him in a position where he can no longer support himself and has serious mental health problems.

A carer who says he was “dragged through the courts” and had to sell his home to pay back almost £20,000 in benefit overpayments is fighting to clear his name after the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) acknowledged he made an innocent mistake.

George Henderson, 64, said he made a gain of just 30p a week while claiming carer’s allowance for his son John, who has learning difficulties and is addicted to heroin. He now costs the Treasury £1,000 a month more in benefits, having become homeless and too unwell to work.

Henderson said he was left suicidal after being prosecuted by the DWP, which accused him of fraudulently claiming the benefit for six years while he was caring for John, who is now 42.

He wrongly ticked a box saying he was unemployed while filling in the “tricky” application form for carer’s allowance in 2010. “I thought they were asking about John,” he told the Guardian.

 
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