Unpaid war veteran’s family to get audience
Families affected by delays in payment of war veterans’ benefits will have their problems tackled “as a matter of urgency”, the Minister of Finance pledged last night.
Curtis Dickinson said officials from the Department of Social Insurance would meet the family of Maureen Aubrey, 88, the widow of a veteran, today to try to resolve her complaints.
Ms Aubrey’s family estimated that her benefits were in arrears of about $20,000 since March.
Her case was highlighted on Tuesday by The Royal Gazette, along with two other families, who asked not to be named, who also complained about delays in benefits payments.
One, an 82-year-old widow, said she was still owed a copay of $128 for a dermatologist’s appointment in March.
She said: “Social insurance said they would pay it, but they have not. When I e-mail them, I don’t get a reply.”
Mr Dickinson said yesterday: “I am saddened by the recent press reports and I apologise for the inconvenience experienced by those affected.”
He added: “I can also confirm that the other matter mentioned in the press, regarding non-payment to the dermatologist, has been resolved.”
The problem was highlighted by Carol Everson, a case worker for the Bermuda Legion, who said that “a number of veterans’ families report delays of several months in receiving pensions”.
Eligible war veterans, as well as widows of veterans, qualify for medical and rest home benefits, as well as a monthly pension of $800.
The pension will go up to $1,000 a month in October after MPs last month approved the Pensions (War Service) Order 2019. Mr Dickinson asked for veterans or family members who required assistance to contact the Department of Social Insurance.
• The department can be reached at 295-5151, extension 1132, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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