A disabled man claims he is struggling to put food on the table and is effectively “wasting away” after the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) stopped his £700 a month disability benefits.
Jamie Jones, 46, disputes the claim that he asked the DWP to reconsider his “eligibility” for Personal Indepence Payment (PIP) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) – an allegation that has been rejected by the DWP.
Jamie, a former warehouse worker from Longton in Stoke-On-Trent, says he never asked the Government to review his benefits claim, and believes the DWP is wrong to declare him as ‘fit for work’.
He had been receipt of disability benefits since a car accident in 2004 left him with spinal injuries and unable to walk more than a short distance.
The Stoke Sentinel reports that Jamie also suffered a recent heart attack, which has further limited his ability to work.
Jamie said: “I’m disabled because of a spinal injury following a car accident in 2004 which means I can’t walk far and I had a heart attack this time last year.
“The DWP says I asked them to look into my benefits claim – but I didn’t.
“By taking my benefits away they are saying I’m fit for work, but I can’t even pick things up off the floor.
“I’ve been without my PIP since December and I received my last ESA payment in January.
“I’ve got no food, no electric, no gas.
“I don’t know how I’m still alive, I’m wasting away, I’ve no idea how much longer I can last or when my next meal will be because I’m too weak to walk to foodbanks.
“I’ve got a roof over my head but I don’t think it’s going to be for much longer because I can’t afford to pay my rent.
“I’ll be homeless. I’ve been sitting in the dark because I have no electric.
“I just need the money back as soon as possible because something needs to be done.”
A DWP spokesperson said: “We’re committed to ensuring that disabled people get the full support they need and we will be in contact with Mr Jones to provide any assistance he requires.
“Decisions are made following consideration of all the information provided by the claimant, including supporting evidence from their GP or medical specialist.
“Claimants are expected to meet their agreed commitments in return for benefits, ensuring forms are completed and returned.”
Mr Jones’ story is just the latest in a long line of vulnerable benefit claimants who say they’ve been let down by the welfare system.
Earlier this Month, Welfare Weekly reported on the story about a “suicidal” mother who said she is facing homelessness after the DWP “cruelly” slashed her vital disability benefits.
Vicky had been diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, but despite her deteriorating health she was told that that her PIP claim had been rejected by DWP decison makers.
The 36-year-old had been in receipt of disability benefits for three years before a medical review resulted in her payments being stopped.
“I showed them all my drugs. I was in tears throughout the assessment, it was very personal and they made me feel very uncomfortable.
“But when I saw a copy of the report, she wrote that I seemed fine.
“It even said I was smartly dressed, although I was in my pyjamas at the time”, she said.
“They just don’t seem to believe me, because I look well from the outside they think I’m OK.”
According the latest official DWP figures, a shocking 73% of PIP cases are over-turned in favour of claimants on appeal to a social security tribunal.