Widow, 86, is punished for 'saving TOO MUCH of her pension' as council strips her of £28,000 nest egg after hauling her to court in overpaid benefits row

An elderly widow with learning difficulties has been left almost penniless after a council stripped her of her £28,000 nest egg in a benefits row.
Mary Morley, 86, who lives in the Cambridgeshire village of Stibbington, regularly saved a little of her £149.54-a-week state pension to avoid burdening her family after retiring aged 65 in 1989.
But the former chambermaid unwittingly saved more than the £16,000 allowed by people claiming housing benefit - and the council are now taking it back.
Mrs Morley, who has carers visit twice a day and has been a widow for 18 years since her husband died, has also faced court action over council tax arrears.
Her son David, 60, told the Daily Express: 'My mum has scrimped and saved all her life. She was plunged into depression overnight. 
'The process by which this is done is unbelievably callous. People in their 80s and 90s, probably alone and with health problems, are targeted.
'It's happening to these people because, in spite of their tiny pension, they have managed to save a little week after week.
'But by doing so, they have crossed the savings limit for claiming housing benefit and council tax support, most likely without even realising.'
Mr Morley has been angered by how officials at Huntingdonshire District Council have treated his mother, who was declared illiterate aged 14 when she left school.
Mrs Morley was told in January last year that she had saved £32,000 – double the £16,000 limit - which saw her housing benefit and council tax support both stopped.

She was then told she owed the council more than £12,000 in overpaid benefits. Her family appealed this decision in March 2018, but it was denied after a six-month wait.
To make things worse, council officials realised because of the appeal that they had made an error in their own calculations, and Mrs Morley actually owed £22,000.
A further error discovered last October took the total up to £23,000, and after the loss of benefit that year had been included, the grand total came to £28,000.
Mrs Morley is now set to be taken to court over her council tax arrears, despite her having no money to pay because the council has confiscated her savings.
Ex-pensions minister Sir Steve Webb said the council had been 'totally inhumane', adding: 'Where is the council's sympathetic approach to vulnerable residents?'
A Huntingdonshire District Council spokesman said: 'Whilst we understand and sympathise with the stressful and delicate nature of Mrs Morley's situation, we must continue our statutory duty to recover funds overpaid in order to correctly allocate public funds to people who meet the strict eligibility requirements.
'The distribution of benefit money is governed by a stringent set of regulations which ensures that funding can be received by those who most require support.
'The regulations are set out by the Government and all local authorities must operate by these rules in order to appropriately utilise public funds within our support system.'
Administering housing benefit is the local council's responsibility, although the DWP has a legal obligation to pass on information about claimants.
A DWP spokesman told MailOnline: 'Councils pay and administer housing benefit and council tax support, providing an important safety net. Those with more than £16,000 in savings may be ineligible for certain means-tested benefits.'

Widow, 86, is punished for 'saving TOO MUCH of her pension' as council strips her of £28,000 nest egg after hauling her to court in overpaid benefits row Widow, 86, is punished for 'saving TOO MUCH of her pension' as council strips her of £28,000 nest egg after hauling her to court in overpaid benefits row Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 13:01 Rating: 5

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