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DWP tells woman with Dementia she can ‘care for herself’ and removes her benefits

Cruel decision comes despite the fact that she often forgets to turn off the gas after cooking.

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A woman struggling to cope with the debilitating effects of Dementia has been told by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that she’s capable of caring for herself and stripped of her disability benefits, it has been reported.

Joy Watson, 59, from Eccles, was first diagnosed with the devastating condition four years ago and was forced to give up her job as a carer.

Since then Joy has had to watch as her memory diminished and has become increasingly reliant on the care provided by husband Tony.

Despite her condition, Joy became a champion for people living with Alzheimer’s and their families, and was praised by former PM David Cameron for campaigning to raise awareness about the condition.

And yet despite her dogged determination to the make the most of life, Joy was stripped of her disability benefits following a home assessment and is now struggling to pay household bills whilst her health and memory gradually deteriorates.

The cruel decision has left the couple shocked and around £400 a month worse off, at a time when Joy needs all the help and support she can get, whilst depriving Joy of the ability to enjoy life and live as independently as reasonably possible.

Joy was assessed for Personal Independence Payments (PIP) in April, as part of changes to disability benefits which will eventually see PIP replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

Despite her obvious problems Joy was denied PIP and told she was capable of caring for herself. She appealed the decision but the appeal was sadly rejected and Joy was awarded even fewer points than following the original assessment.

Struggling to remember her words, Joy told the Manchester Evening News: “I had to give up the job I loved and I don’t see any sense in this decision.

“I feel really as if I’m being penalised for trying to live well, I don’t think [the welfare system] is geared up for understanding people with dementia and their needs.

“They don’t see me when I’m fretting, when I can’t do the thing I want to do.

“I have had these benefits for four years since I got the diagnosis – do they not know that dementia is a progressive disease? I try to keep well but I’m not going to get better.”

Husband Tony says Joy is unable to manage her medication alone or cook in a safe manner, often taking her medication at the wrong time or more than once, forgetting to add water to a pan of vegetables or not turning off the gas once cooking is finished.

Tony added: “The assessment lasted about an hour and Joy did not move from the sofa once.

“She struggled to remember her words, her hands shook and although we explained she can’t make meals because she forgets to turn off the gas and she can’t manage her medicine – she mixes up her evening and morning tablets – their report said she is able to look after herself.

“I have tried to help Joy to be as independent as possible, to live as well as possible, she has always wanted to help others and I believe that going out and talking to people about dementia has kept her brain working – it is her passion and we are so proud of what she has achieved.

“Joy is an amazing woman and she has worked so hard to keep herself well – she looks great, people can’t always tell she has dementia and I can’t help feeling if she had sat on the settee and stagnated, we would be getting all these benefits now.”

As if the situation faced by the couple isn’t bad enough, Tony has also been stripped of Carer’s Allowance, plunging the couple even further into financial crisis.

Rebecca Long Bailey, MP for Salford and Eccles, and Shadow Secretary of State for Business, has been left disgusted by the DWP’s decision.

“It is disgusting to hear what Joy and her husband are having to go through”, she said.

“Not only having to adjust their lives with the continuing degenerative condition that Dementia brings, but to have the safety net of Personal Independence Payments and Carers Allowance pulled from under them.”

“I have written to the DWP and the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to request they look again at the decision made. Unfortunately, having seen so many cases come through my constituency office this is not a rare case. “

A DWP spokesperson said: “Decisions for PIP are made following consideration of all the information provided by the claimant, including supporting evidence from their GP or medical specialist.

“Anyone that disagrees with a decision can appeal.”

Last updated at 06:39 (GMT) on 15th August 2017.


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  1. It’s sadly what we’ve come to expect from a DWP headed by a Tory government who don’t give a damn about ordinary people in situations like this, penalising them and the unemployed as though it is their fault. Disgusting person who submitted the report..

  2. People need to look further than DWP, NHS, Social Services etc. The meltdown of UK is being caused by a nasty secretive organisation called Common Purpose which runs courses to train leaders who deliberately cause problems to dismantle the UK. Police, Education, Media, Parliament, Govt, all Local Councils, Clergy all have these trained leaders causing havoc. This is not a joke. Cgoogle: Wikileaks Common Purpose. CP Exposed with informative videos and UKColumn, both of which exist to expose and fight it. I bet this post is removed as being embarrassing for above agencies. You will have many surprises when you find out who is Common Purpose Trained. Laura Thomas

  3. There are no words.

    Every Tory has blood on their hands. They are bastards and scum.

    I hope this decision gets overturned. But it’s high time the blame was spread further. It isn’t just the Tories – it is the DWP staff who MUST bear some of the blame here. I cannot accep they are ‘just following orders’. This is a dreadful excuse that must be challenged. If people are acting out of fear they will be sacked then unions must show support, but if these people will not see reason and show caompassion then, quite frankly, let THEM starve.

    • They are trained to carry out the assessments as they do, yes they are guilty but ultimately, the body whom they employed with has to carry most of the blame. It will one day be deemed to have been carried out illegally but it’s safe to say that for the most part, we are a doomed nation!!

  4. So, equally ageing partners or, for single [divorced/bereaved] sufferers,their children are now expected to become full time carers of their parents when all vestiges of dignity/familiar behavior drop away, while they are,mostly slaving to survive themselves?
    Believe me;changing your previously pristine mother’s soiled clothing several times a day, while you pin her down or cajole/wrestle her to the shower as she slaps you/spits in your face,swearing like a drunken seamen that she always hated you [not true, she was a fantastic mum] is about as awful as it gets!! Then you can always go for chasing her down, in her nightdress, the middle of a busy road at midnight, ‘on her way home’. Good quality/live in home care for a person suffering advanced dementia costs in excess of £600 per WEEK!! How many people can afford that or even have enough room to house them? Will Mum now be kicked out of her ‘Stage 3’ free care home?

  5. Well, it stands to reason. The MPs’ 11% salary-increase has got to be recovered from SOMEwhere! Along with the £millions wasted on IDS’s Universal Credit Scheme Information Technology….

  6. They don’t give a flying F### . Just been booted off after scoring perfect ZERO , the same score for my physical abilities as an Olympic athlete would achieve! Miraculously cured of lifelong disabilities and conditions by magic pen in the hands of a retired Nurse (working for Maximus ) WCA assessor (sorry Healthcare Professional no less..)Yes I’m appealing.. just like last time. It is a game to these people while they destroy lives. I wish you good luck, you will need it.

  7. I was tested, scanned and have a mind of 30 year old, but still I can forget to turn gas off and etc; more: I had the problem in my teenage years – this is not a sign of dementia; this is a sign of a lack of concentration, thinking about other things. This is something really wrong with the assessments and generally about Alzheimer and other dementia in the country.

  8. My mother has dementia and because I’m severely disabled she’s listed as my carer. I’ve been told that I am to be listed as her principle carer but not given a penny of help! You are just left to struggle… to sink or swim and it’s hell.

  9. One thing that always played on my mind as a kid was that every regime that has carried out deliberate acts of cruelty has a bureaucracy behind it that never actually comes into contact with the results of its actions but somehow manages to wash its hands of all responsibility on an “Only doing my job” basis.

    This is the point we’ve reached. The governments poison is infecting those who it employs to do its dirty work while those responsible hide away.

  10. You have to admit this was the decision of a trained professional. What he’d been trained to do I shudder to think. Play the recorder perhaps?

    • Jan, the trained professional, maybe a GP, was ordered to do this by Common Purpose. Most people don’t know about this vile pseudo charity but it is all around us. Brisinger is right to say you are left to sink or swim. That is what CP wants. If it can break down society which it is doing – it can then control people and bring about a New World Order. This might sound like science fiction but it is happening to folks on this board, right now. Laura Thomas


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