Worthing man, 102, receives £50,000 in owed benefits

Walter Craven and his son-in-law Geoffrey Sargent
Walter Craven and his son-in-law Geoffrey Sargent
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A 102-YEAR-OLD Worthing man who was owed almost £50,000 in benefit payments has had the money paid to him in full, thanks to a little help from East Worthing and Shoreham MP, Tim Loughton.

Walter Craven, who lives at the Victoria Royal Beach care home in Grand Avenue, Worthing, received a payment of £49,880 for his missing attendance allowance last week.

Until now, Walter had not been paid the benefit – a type of incapacity benefit for over 65s – since 1995, and was receiving no support from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) or West Sussex County Council, despite the DWP having been informed of the non-payment by the county council.

Walter’s family had contacted Mr Loughton for help, as the amount of savings Walter had left meant he could only pay for seven more months at the care home.

However, the payment of nearly £50,000 from the attendance allowance department at the DWP means Walter can now continue to pay for his full-time care at Victoria Royal Beach for the next few years.

Walter said: “I do like it here at the care home. It’s very good that I have received this money, so now I can stay here. The staff here are very nice, I can’t complain.”

Mr Loughton said this was one of the largest sums of money he and his team have had to fight for.

He said: “After contacting the DWP, we are very satisfied with the result. However, this amount of owed money shouldn’t have been allowed to accumulate in the first place.”

Geoffrey Sargent, Walter’s son-in-law, said he and wife Judith were thrilled the payment has finally come through.

“We are very grateful to Tim Loughton and his team,” he said. “It’s been a long two months fighting for it, and now this means Walter can stay here for the foreseeable future.”

Geoffrey, 70, of The Street, Shoreham, said if it had not been for West Sussex County Council, they would not have realised Walter was entitled the money at all.

“It was the West Sussex County Council who informed us that Walter should have been paid this benefit since 1995,” he said. “Perhaps we would have eventually cottoned on, but who knows?”

He added: “We are very happy with the level of care Walter receives at Victoria Royal Beach, he seems to be very happy.”

Manager of Victoria Royal Beach care home, Carol Jackson, said the staff were pleased Walter had received the benefits he is entitled to. “Walter is a fantastic resident,” she said.

“He gets involved with the activities and he is a proper gentleman – very well spoken and always very well turned out. He is brilliant for his age.”