I’ve been abandoned by the States, says mother of triplets now staying in UK
A MOTHER of triplets born 16 weeks prematurely says she feels ‘abandoned’ by the States, who she claims have refused to support her financially in her ‘time of need’.
Trinity resident Rebecca Bennett (27) says she has been left with no access to an allowance while staying in the UK, where her babies – Willow, Primrose and Jasper – have been in hospital since their birth on 26 February.
The Social Security Department has confirmed it is working to resolve the issues she has been experiencing, but would not release any further details.
Mrs Bennett, who is married to Daniel, raised the issue in a public Facebook post which has gone viral locally and has so far been shared 1,300 times, attracted 500 comments and has been ‘liked’ around 750 times.
She said: ‘I am a 27-year-old Jersey resident that has contributed to the Island since I first started working. I have been staying in the UK with my triplets that were born at 24 weeks and six days as the Jersey Hospital cannot accommodate babies needing such extreme care.
‘I went into Social Security at 20 weeks pregnant and explained we would need to move house to accommodate our new family. We were told I was entitled to an allowance to support me and my family.’
However, after her babies were born prematurely and she temporarily moved to the UK to be by their sides, she claims that the situation has changed and the department is now refusing to give her support.
She is also claiming that if she leaves her children in hospital in the UK and returns to Jersey, then she would be entitled to funding but it would not be backdated to when they were born.
Mrs Bennett says she has been in dispute with the Social Security Department since the birth.
‘This has been going on since their birth on 26 February,’ she said. ‘This is absolutely disgusting! I am exhausted physically and mentally and I am outraged that we are being abandoned by the government during our time of need.’
Mrs Bennett was 25 weeks pregnant when she began experiencing discomfort.
After examination by staff at the General Hospital, it was discovered she was in premature labour and she was airlifted to the UK, where she she gave birth to Willow (1 lb 6 oz), Primrose (1 lb 5 oz) and Jasper (1 lb 10 oz) at Portsmouth Hospital.
As Jersey cannot care for babies born so prematurely, Mrs Bennett and her three children have remained in the UK.
A fundraising page, set up by her friend to help fund their stay in the UK, has already raised £4,330.
A spokeswoman for the Social Security Department said they were ‘aware of the situation regarding the customer in the UK with triplets’.
‘We are unable to comment in detail on the case in public,’ she said, ‘as we cannot comment on individual cases.
‘However, we can confirm that we are in contact with the customer and are working to assist her and to resolve this as swiftly as possible.’