Benefit apology for Ipswich man

AN out-of-pocket Ipswich man made redundant in June has finally received an apology from benefits bosses after he was repeatedly refused desperately-needed Job Seeker's Allowance.

AN out-of-pocket Ipswich man made redundant in June has finally received an apology from benefits bosses after he was repeatedly refused desperately-needed Job Seeker's Allowance.

Stephen Carr lost his job as an operative at Grampian Country Food five months ago, leaving the Elmswell factory where he was employed with a lump sum and eight weeks pay, totalling £7,000.

Mr Carr should have been eligible for dole payments as of August 11 when his eight weeks' of wages officially came to an end, but the 55-year-old did not receive a penny, which put increasing pressure on his family.

And to make matters worse, Mr Carr, of Chesterton Close, south west Ipswich, was met with a wall of silence when trying to ascertain exactly why he was not eligible.


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However, after enquiries were made by The Evening Star, Mr Carr, married to Patricia, received a phone call from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) informing him that two cheques for the balance owed to him were in the post.

He said: “It's such a relief. They called to say sorry and let me know the money would be on its way.

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“I'm so glad it's all been sorted out at last.”

Speaking before the resolution of the DWP mistake, he said he was “at his wit's end” and claimed his perilous finances were tearing his family apart.

He described himself as a “foreigner in his own country”.

Mr Carr, who is currently scouring the jobs pages and internet for a new role, served for 12 years in the RAF, two of which were spent in Northern Ireland.

He said the longest period he has had out of work was four months, which was back in 1984.

Of the £7,000 he left Grampian with, only £3,000 remains, and with Mrs Carr's part time job the only source of regular income, Mr Carr said his need for support from the government was stronger than ever.

A DWP spokesman said: “We have been in contact with Mr Carr to rectify the situation and apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

Have you faced a similar problem? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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