A New Forest woman caught in the WASPI scandal has said that the DWP has “robbed the mothers of this country of seven years of their life – without any remorse.”

Born in 1957, Stephanie Osborne spent 16 years of her working life juggling looking after her family and working part-time as a teacher at Totton College.

In 2012, the college teacher had a nasty fall which resulted in a serious neck injury and for many years she struggled to use her hands.

As reported in the Echo in 2014, while still recovering from her injury, Stephanie, along with many other teachers, was made redundant after the college got into financial trouble.

Five years on from her injury and finally starting to find some normality after recovering from her injury, in 2017, Stephanie was due to get her state pension.

She said she was in disbelief when she found she was not eligible until 2024.

It comes as the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) took the “rare but necessary” decision to ask Parliament to intervene over complaints that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) had failed to provide accurate, adequate and timely information about state pension reform.

Stephanie, 67, said: “Many of us have been robbed of the time that we should have been caring for our parents, looking after our grandchildren resting.

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“Some of my friends have mortgages to pay off in their 70s or are still doing hard work while struggling with long-term illness – it's just terrible.

“It feels like being robbed – robbed of years of your life.

“If this issue had plagued us for just two or three years it would have been bad but the best part of a decade is just unactable.”

The now-retired teacher said that the only correspondence she has ever had from the DWP, was a letter dated 1995, stating that she would get her pension in 2017.

She added: “I think that it is absolutely disgusting to see the mothers of this county treated in this way.

“We will never get what we are owed nor any compensation. I have had time with my family and loved ones stripped from me without any acknowledgement.”

In 2019, Stephanie became a ward councillor for Dibden Purlieu at the New Forest District Council.

A DWP spokesperson said: "We will consider the Ombudsman’s report and respond in due course, having cooperated fully throughout this investigation.

“The government has always been committed to supporting all pensioners in a sustainable way that gives them a dignified retirement whilst also being fair to them and taxpayers."