Mum and three children left ‘counting pennies’ after husband died of cancer at 28

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Mum and three children left 'counting pennies' after husband died of cancer at 28



A mum and her three children have been left on the breadline after being told they’re not eligible for bereavement benefit following the death of her husband.
Sarah Hales, 29, has been struggling to pay the bills and get food on the table for her children Charlie, 11, Scarlett, three, and Albie, one.
She was pregnant with their second child when Dan, then 25, was diagnosed with brain cancer. He passed away two months ago at the age of 28.

Sarah Hales is struggling to make ends meet for her and her three children after her husband died (Picture: GoFundMe)Sarah was told they’re not eligible for bereavement benefit because her husband was unable to pay enough national insurance before he died.
Fears for Loch Ness monster due to ‘harmful’ hydro plant plansSarah told the Independent: ‘It’s heartbreaking enough having to ask for it in the first place – I’d much rather still have Dan here and struggle with his illness.
‘But it’s almost like I have to beg for it now. It’s degrading. I’ve got three kids and they expect me to bring them up on thin air.
‘Each week I’m having to count up the pennies. I think, if I get this, then we’ll have this left, but if I cut that out from the shop I’ll have this much left for this. I can’t even take the kids out for the day. I can’t even treat them to a McDonald’s to take their minds off everything. We are more or less stuck in the house.’

Dan died three years after being diagnosed with glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain cancer (Picture: GoFundMe)Sarah thought Dan’s sickness benefit would be replaced, but was told in a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that she was not eligible.
An update to the benefits system in 2017 means spouses or civil partners of the deceased get a one-off tax-free sum of £2,000 or £3,500 – if they have children.
However, candidates are only eligible if the deceased have paid six months of national insurance contributions, which can cause problem for young adults like Dan, who worked as a bricklayer.
Friend Charlotte Hodges said: ‘Sarah has barely had time to grieve after spending all of her efforts in trying to appeal the decision and care for her three children.’

Sarah said she’s ‘counting pennies’ every week (Picture: GoFundme)A fundraiser for the family has raised more than £4,600.
Video shows man cowering in fear after latest brutal beating by violent girlfriendCharlotte, who has created a GoFundMe page for the family, added: ‘Daniel’s life was tragically cut short and his children have been left without a father for the rest of their lives.
‘He died thinking that his little family would be able to cope as they were led to believe they’d get support through bereavement payments, like the £3,500 initial one off payment provided to families for immediate support, even if this amount only helped for a short time.
‘It gave Dan comfort knowing he was able to at least leave that for them. However, due to government changes, Sarah and her family are being cruelly denied that.’

Sarah said she didn’t want to start grieving because she wouldn’t stop (Picture: GoFundMe)She continued: ‘That means that young families like theirs who face sudden loss like Sarah, Charlie, Scarlett, and Albie are now left without the financial help they so desperately need in an already awful situation.’
A DWP spokesperson said: ‘People are entitled to the full payment of Bereavement Support Payment if their late spouse or civil partner has paid around six months’ national insurance contributions.
‘There is further support available through the wider welfare system and we continue to spend around £90 billion a year on working-age benefits, including for those on low incomes.’

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