The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has defended stripping a terminally ill cancer patient of her disability benefits, after insisting they weren’t made aware of her tragic situation.
Jane Windle, 52, from Northampton, was diagnosed with carcinoid tumours in 2001, but despite being given only months to live has so far managed to defy doctors predictions for fifteen years.
But the tumours have left Jane in constant pain, barely able to walk and with serious breathing difficulties. But despite her obvious frailties the DWP says she isn’t ill enough to qualify for disability benefits.
The shocking decision means Jane will no longer receive £140 a week in Disability Living Allowance (DLA), which she says could leave her and her husband, who has also lost £60 a week in Carer’s Allowance, “penniless” and unable to afford bills.
The mum of three, a former petrol station worker, says she has to have an injection every two weeks and an operation every three months to help prolong her life.
“We don’t know what we are going to do. We could be left penniless”, she told the Metro.
“I am breathless and have contact pain in my back.
“It’s impossible to predict how long I’ve got left, but it has always been terminal. I have never been in remission and I never will be.
“The best I can hope for is Employment Support Allowance. I’ll have to go to a doctor to get a sick note every two weeks, to get us £72-a-week.
“How can we pay for food, for gas, for electricity with just that?”
Jane was assessed for DLA by the private firm Capita on February 22, who she says asked whether she could walk 50 metres unaided, wash herself, and clean and cook without help.
Jane’s husband William, 41, says Capita’s assessment report was incorrect and the couple have now launched an appeal against the DWP’s subsequent decision to axe her benefits.
William said: “They have said she is capable of things she is just not capable of. Can you imagine what a lump in your lungs and pelvis feels like?
“Jane struggles to stand up let alone walk the length of our street in one go.”
A DWP spokeswoman said: “We have never been aware that Mrs Windle’s cancer is terminal. That would make her eligible through a fast-track claim, which she declined.
“She has appealed the decision and we are currently waiting for medical documentation of her condition.”
Subscribe to our newsletter for important news updates. Don’t worry, we hate spam too.