A seriously sick and disabled woman has been told her vital disability benefits will be cut, despite having had two kidney transplants and requiring oxygen to be able to get through each night.
Ann Forster, 56, says she is a victim of the government’s “flawed” benefits assessment system, after a face-to-face assessment found she wasn’t ill enough to continue receiving £220 a month is disability benefits.
Mrs Forster was assessed for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) at her home in Kirby-in-Ashford, Nottinghamshire.
A subsequent decision letter claims she could stand and move more than 200 metres with no significant difficulty or breathlessness.
The letter says Mrs Forster “completed all movements at a normal pace with no pain, discomfort or breathlessness”.
“You said you have difficulties with moving around, but I have decided you can stand and then move more than 200 metres as the examination showed no significant restrictions and no breathlessness was observed.”
But Mrs Forster’s husband Geoff says his wife “didn’t even leave the room” during the 30-minute home assessment.
“She didn’t even leave the settee but for a metre to stand up and bend over, that was it”, he told the BBC.
“It is definitely and absolutely a flawed system”, said Mr Forster.
Mrs Forster, who needs to use oxygen at night due to an underdeveloped lung, is appealing the decision but admits the experience has left her stressed and upset.
A spokesman for the disability charity Scope called on the government to “look again at the assessment process” and said assessors should “ask different questions in a different way”.
A DWP spokesman confirmed that Mrs Forster has asked for a reconsideration and that her case “is currently being reviewed”.
The spokesman added: “Decisions are made following a face-to-face assessment and consideration of the medical evidence provided by the claimant.”
The news comes after a stroke victim was declared “fit for work”, despite missing part of his head due to severe injuries.
Mr Kenny Bailey, from East Barnsley, has suffered with severe skull damage and partial paralysis on his left side since a major stroke in 2014.
Despite serious injuries and mobility problems, Mr Bailey had his Employment and Support Allowance slashed by callous benefit bosses.
Labour MP Michael Dugher wrote to the Work and Pensions Secretary, Stephen Crabb MP, urging him to “intervene personally” in the “outrageous” case.
Thankfully, we can now report that Mr Bailey has had his benefits reinstated following an appeal.
Michael Dugher told the Daily Mirror: “I called on the Government to reverse their shocking decision to declare my constituent Kenny Bailey ‘fit for work’ and it’s welcome that they finally reversed it.
“But it should never have happened in the first place. And it’s a sign of a wider problem in that the most vulnerable people can be treated in such an appalling way.”