Social Security rules state that pensions must be cut if people stay in hospital for longer than six weeks.

At any one time, more than 30,000 older people have to suffer these cuts, which also result in the reduction or loss of other benefits such as Income Support, Housing and Council Tax benefit.

It is unacceptable that older people are put under financial stress at a time when they are most vulnerable. It is also insulting that it can take months for the bureaucracy to reinstate benefits, thus prolonging the agony.

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Age Concern Barnet would like to call upon the readers of the Times Group to contact their MP and add their voices to those calling for the repeal of these outdated and discriminatory regulations.

No-one should be penalised for being ill.

Mark Robinson

Chief officer, Age Concern Barnet