Soldier's mother still waiting for appeal

First published in News

THE mother of the youngest soldier killed in Afghanistan is still waiting for a new appeal hearing at a particularly difficult time of year for her family.

Lucy Aldridge delayed her tribunal hearing with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) earlier in the year to gather more evidence and had been expecting a new appeal date by the end of October.

The DWP stopped her £307.80-a-month income support earlier this year because she received a £66,000 death-in-service payment after 18-year-old William was killed in Helmand province on July 10, 2009.

She said she was still being asked to prove the wishes of her son to use the money for her other children, and could face a difficult winter trying to balance the cost of heating, food and electricity.

“I am still waiting for them to send me a date. It’s almost a year now and I am still no further forward. I am still penniless and without an income.

“It just makes it a more traumatic time of year and there’s nothing I can do to hurry them up. It’s a matter of urgency to me.”

She added: “They have never been sensitive to the fact I lost my son and how I lost him. I am a square peg in a round hole and no one knows what to do with me.

“It makes this particular anniversary more difficult for me. The longer it is prolonged the harder it is for me.”

Miss Aldridge will be attending a Remembrance Sunday service at St Peter’s Church on Sunday, November 13, where she will be laying a wreath.

“I used to attend Remembrance Sunday anyway but it’s much more poignant for me now. Remembrance Sunday is much more poignant because of recent conflicts and hopefully more people will be attending. Two-and-a-half years on and it is still extremely painful.”

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