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Prospect helps retired Sellafield member win back £9,600

10 December 2020

Prospect has helped a retired Sellafield member win back £9,600 from her former employer following a dispute over erroneously paid Employment and Support Allowance.

Helen Hodgson, an occupational health nurse, had worked at Sellafield for 25 years before her retirement, due to ill-health, in 2014.

Helen received Employment and Support Allowance payments, and the amount of those payments was subsequently deducted from her monthly pension ill-health ‘top-up’ payment from Sellafield.

However, when it was discovered that she had actually received the ESA payments in error, the money was reclaimed directly from Helen herself.

When she then approached Sellafield about the reimbursement for the deductions from her pension top-up, they declined.

“I had been fighting it by myself for quite a while and then I thought I would try to see if Prospect could do anything for us,” says Helen.

Her first step was to call Prospect’s Member Contact Centre, who advised Helen to put her case in writing in the form of an email.

Soon after Helen had provided Prospect with the email, it was forwarded to the local Sellafield rep, Audrey Uppington, who “sorted it all out quickly.”

“Now I am absolutely delighted. It’s a lot of money, especially when you retired early,” says Helen.

“I’m sure some people wonder about the value of staying in a union, but I could not have managed without them. Everybody should stay in the union when they have finished their careers because you never know when you might need them.”

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