Buan Losuwan, 89, agreed on Monday (Jan 25) to return B84,400 she had received from the Tambon Charoen Suk Administration Organisation over 10 years, but asked for more time to repay it.
At time of press at least three new cases had emerged in Nakhon Ratchasima, including 83-year-olds Samrit Phusawang and Kuang Somboonram.
Both had received the elderly allowance for over 14 years from April 2006 to November 2020. They recently received a letter from the Tambon Cho Ho Municipality, telling them to return the money – amounting to B83,383 each, including interest.
The state determined they were ineligible for the allowance because they were found to have received a separate monthly pension due to the death of their husbands while performing official duties.
Both have been summonsed to appear before the Nakhon Ratchasima Municipal Court for a prima facie examination on Feb 18.
Wannapa Sanpen, a daughter of Mrs Samrit, said her family was stunned on receiving the letter and that her mother had never intended to claim the money in the first place. She only did so after a municipal official told her to apply and even helped her prepare the necessary documents. Her mother thought it was her lawful right to receive the elderly allowance, she said.
After receiving the letter, she and her mother went to the municipality office, where they were told to pay back the money in instalments – B18,000 each for the first three months and then about B1,000 each per month until the debt was paid in full.
Ms Wannapa said they wanted the monthly repayment to be reduced to B500-600 and hoped the court would have mercy on Feb 18.
A third resident of Korat, 73-year-old Prachuap Padawan, received the monthly allowance from April 2009 to November 2020 and has now been ordered to return a total of B77,737 including interest.
She is also due to appear before the Nakhon Ratchasima Municipal Court on Feb 18.