Bereaved mum’s appeal success

Relief: Jacquie Brassett says she can now grieve properly for her son Lee.
Relief: Jacquie Brassett says she can now grieve properly for her son Lee.
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A BEREAVED mother who has been battling to get Government help to pay for her son’s funeral has spoken of her relief of being able to collect his ashes.

Jacquie Brassett was left unable to pay the bill for Lee Cole’s funeral because an error on his benefits record meant she was not eligible for social fund support.

However, after almost three months of fighting the decision, she has received a written apology, more than £1,000 to pay the bill and an extra £100 in compensation.

An appeal investigation found there had been a mistake made by staff at JobCentre Plus when inputting Lee’s details. They claimed Lee had been living with a partner when he died, despite a home visit proving he was only sharing a flat with a friend.

Jacquie, of Chestnut Avenue, Spalding, said: “I cannot begin to tell you what a relief it was. I was looking at a funeral payment plan and picking him up next August, with £100 a month going from my incapacity benefit.

“At the end of the day I am more relieved for my son. He knows what I am like when I get the bit between my teeth, I will not let go. I will move heaven and earth if I know I am right.”

Jacquie’s plight featured in the Spalding Guardian last month (pictured right) and she had also written to South Holland and The Deepings MP John Hayes.

Mr Hayes then passed her complaint on to Iain Duncan-Smith, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

Lee (35) died in Manchester on July 27 after battling HIV and other health problems.

Jacquie intends to take his ashes to the church in London where his grandparents were laid to rest.