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NH Woman Forced To Return Dead Mother’s Pension, Pay Health Premiums

By Diana Perez, WBZ-TV
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Janice Pelchat had to pay back her dead mother's pension.

Janice Pelchat had to pay back her dead mother’s pension.

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AMHERST, N.H. (CBS) – A New Hampshire woman calls it insulting. Weeks after losing her mother, she was told she had to pay back her mother’s pension and health premiums even though her mother was alive when she received the money.

Janice Pelchat’s pain started in December after years of caring for her ailing, 86-year-old mother, Yolande, “She died of congestive heart failure.”

So Janice called the New Hampshire Retirement System to stop her mother’s pension checks but the message somehow got mixed up and she got a check in the mail so she called them back “I said what am I supposed to do with this,” says Janice. “They said ‘Oh, that was a mistake would you mind sending that back to us?’”

WBZ-TV’s Diana Perez reports

Send the full pension amount even though Yolande lived until December 19th. Still, Janice complied, but a month later this grieving daughter got even more upsetting news. Since her pension was stopped November 30th, her health and dental premiums were also stopped.

And that meant Janice had to pay $630 for the entire month of December, covering even the days after her mother died. This time she fought back, the irony, too obvious to ignore, “If you are telling me that you’re not going to cover my mother during the time that she was alive in December then I think it’s only fair that I don’t pay you back for the time in December that she was deceased.”

Instead Janice offered a pro-rated amount for the 19 days her mother was alive and used her insurance. She says she paid it mostly to avoid the possible consequences, “My initial thought was what if they deny insurance coverage to the hospital my mother was in before she died. What would happen to me with all those hospital bills.”

Luckily those hospital bills have been paid and the City of Nashua tells us it has accepted Janice’s offer pay a pro-rated portion of the premium.

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