North East Wales

DWP apologises over Holywell baby funeral cost mistake

Nadia Oldale Image copyright Nadia Oldale

A couple have called the Department for Work and Pensions "heartless" after it agreed to pay towards the cost of their son's funeral, only to backtrack.

Nadia Oldale and Josh Farrow from Holywell, Flintshire, had a son who died just three hours after being born.

An application to the DWP for help with £1,700 costs was approved before the couple was told by the funeral director the amount paid was £1,000 short.

A DWP spokesman apologised for the error.

The couple's son, who suffered from a genetic condition, died in September 2015 and they were advised by a midwife they may be able to get help with funeral costs through a government social fund.

Ms Oldale, 24, said she was told by the DWP that £1,700 would be paid towards the arrangements as the couple claim Employment and Support Allowance.

'Downright heartless'

A few weeks later, the funeral director told the couple £1,000 was still outstanding.

When Ms Oldale phoned the DWP, she said she was told a mistake had been made by the decision maker.

She said: "We asked for help because we really needed it, that's why we went to them. We'd just spent so much money preparing for a baby. It was downright heartless to me."

The DWP said: "Our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time and we do apologise for the error made."

Mr Farrow and Ms Oldale are now paying off their bill in instalments.