Victory for war hero in benefit battle

AN IPSWICH war hero who was owed hundreds of pounds in benefits has today won his battle with authorities. Stanley Chambers was owed more than £700 from the Pension Service when his story appeared in the Evening Star last week.

AN IPSWICH war hero who was owed hundreds of pounds in benefits has today won his battle with authorities.

Stanley Chambers was owed more than £700 from the Pension Service when his story appeared in the Evening Star last week.

The pensioner was left with a massive bill after his wife was taken into residential care in May. Benefits to cover this cost were never credited to his account.

Nancy Chambers, 81, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and taken to Broad Acres in Knodishall. After 63 years of marriage, the couple were separated leaving Mr Chambers to run his Salehurst Road home alone.

Along with household bills and the cost of travelling to Knodishall, he also faced the prospect of hundreds of pounds of fees for his wife's care.

And, although Mr Chambers applied for benefits to cover these costs, his account was not credited with any payments until October.

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This meant that the 87-year-old was forced to pay two months of bills from his own pocket. He had withheld earlier payments to the home and only paid later costs because he thought the issue was being resolved.

Today, after nearly a year of battling, Mr Chambers has received a written apology and a cheque totalling more than £1,000 from the Pension Service.

He said: "I had a letter of apology and, for all the trouble they have caused me, they are going to reimburse me with some compensation.

"I want to thank the Evening Star, without your help I don't think I would have got very far.

"I am very pleased and my family are delighted, they say I am a much better person now and am less bad tempered.

"I had a letter from my union mentioning this and they were appalled at the treatment I have received. I fought for this country."

Mr Chambers was a spitfire pilot during the Second World War and was a member of ground staff during the Battle of Britain, although he did not fly during the battle as previously reported.

He said: "Everybody was equal and had their special job to do. The conflict was so serious that it could only be won by pilots in the air and ground staff supporting the pilots. This was a great morale-raiser which worked really well."

N Have you got a story similar to Mr Chambers'? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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