D-Day veteran stripped of pension to pay council care costs

Emma Woollacott
Fred Cannon
Fred Cannon

The family of a 90-year-old WW2 veteran is campaigning for him to be allowed to keep more of his pension.

Fred Cannon was shot in the leg during the D-Day landings in 1944 at the age of just 19. He lay where he was shot for two days, unable to move, until he was picked up by a passing truck.

He was the only survivor of that attack, and the only member of his company to return home alive.

The injury left him with one leg shorter than the other, affecting his mobility and meaning he's classed as 50% disabled.

After a number of falls, Mr Cannon moved into a home in Dartford, Kent last year. But because his military pension is taken into account in means tests, he's left with just £10 a week of his £105 pension, with the council taking the rest to pay his care home costs.

Members of the armed forces who have been injured in conflicts since 2005 have their social care costs paid in full. Unfortunately, those injured before this date don't have that certainty, with 88% of councils taking military pensions to cover the cost.

The British Legion is campaigning to end what it says is a fundamentally unfair system. When civilians are injured in the workplace, it points out, they are able to place their compensation in a trust fund which is exempt from means tests for social care.

"Too often injured veterans find that the compensation they have been given is spent on their care costs, whilst compensation that civilians receive is exempted from means tests," says Bassetlaw Labour MP John Mann, who is supporting the campaign.

"The result is that injured veterans find themselves financially disadvantaged for having served their country."

Mr Cannon's son, Paul, tells the BBC that he doesn't object to his father's state and employment pensions being used to fund his father's care.

"What myself, and the rest of the family are really annoyed about, however, is the fact that my father's war pension has also been taken by the council," he said.

A spokesman for the government said it is working with the British Legion to consider a how the rules should be applied.

Prince Harry Meets Supporters of The Royal British Legion
Prince Harry Meets Supporters of The Royal British Legion

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