The Lawyers Council of Thailand has urged provincial lawyer councils to assist elderly people ordered to return their living allowances to the Comptroller General’s Department.
“It is expected that a number of senior citizens nationwide will be gravely affected. We are of the view that these elderly people do not have any intention to cheat. They might not understand the regulations,” according to a letter circulated to the media yesterday.
The council proposed on 26th January to form committees in every province to provide legal services to targeted elders.
Early this month it was reported the Comptroller General’s Department had asked a number of elderly people to pay back living allowances.
Among those targeted were widows and parents of deceased state officials, police officers and soldiers, who had received state benefits for the deaths of their spouses or children on top of their allowances.
It is estimated that 15,000 elders could be asked to return the allowances.
In Chumphon, Alai Chansri, 78, living in Tha Sae district, was reported to have received a court summons to return more than 100,000 baht to the government, which she first received after her father’s death.
In Buri Ram’s Chalerm Phrakiat district, a local administrative organisation insisted an 89-year-old woman pay back her allowances after she was found also to be a recipient of her deceased son’s pension.