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A radioactive man, who has been told not to be in close proximity with other people, has been found ‘fit for work’ by government officials.

Peter Foley, 54, from Wakefield in West Yorkshire, was stripped of his sickness benefits by officials from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), despite being banned from standing in queues at his local Jobcentre.

Mr Foley is undergoing radioiodine treatment for an overactive thyroid, which means that his body gives off radiation that could be harmful to other people.

The condition has led to an alteration in Mr Foley’s brain chemistry, leading to depression, anxiety and involuntary tremors. Mr Foley says the experience of having his benefits removed had a detrimental effect on his health and worsened his symptoms.

Mr Foley told the Wakefield Express: “I am amazed that the DWP decided I am fit for work, even though I am radioactive because of the radioiodine treatment I’m having.

“I’m not allowed near anyone, or on public transport and yet they say I should go to work. I wasn’t even allowed to stand in the queue at the job centre as I had to tell them about my condition. I had to fill in the paperwork in the doorway.

“I have been unable to work because of my overactive thyroid for around five months now.

“The condition has altered my brain chemistry and it gives me terrible tremors and severe depression and anxiety and this situation is just making it worse.”

Intervention from the Wakefield Express has resulted in Mr Foley’s Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) being reinstated.

His daughter Samantha Foley said: “I can’t thank the Express enough. I’m so pleased the DWP have changed their minds and given my dad the back pay he was owed.

“It was absolutely ridiculous and a huge worry for us.”

A spokesperson for the DWP said: “For someone to claim benefits they need to provide evidence to back up their claim.

“Mr Foley has now provided additional information and has been awarded Employment and Support Allowance.”

His ESA payments have been backdated.


  1. I also had radioactive iodine treatment for my over active thyroid and was safe to go back to work after 21 days as a home carer. So him being radioactive is not the problem here, he would have only been highly radioactive the first week and after 4 weeks not at all or not enough that it would effect anyone. Typical media blowing things out of proportion and not stating all the facts.

  2. I am sorry but this man should not have said anything when he walked into the job centre. he should have went through the interview and only afterwards told the member of staff interviewing him that they were likely to be exposed and they needed to seek medical advice due to the exposure. As then the member of staff would have informed their union rep and the whole sorry not fit for purpose Atos Medical test would have blown up in the governments face.
    Atos went out of its way to class this man fit for work, just because he happened to pass their one size fits all medical conditions test.
    A Man with the bottom of his right leg missing was said to have passed wriggling his right foot toes.
    People on deaths door have been passed fit for work.many died days later of their condition.
    And yet Atos still carry’s out the one size fits all test. and still continues to receive regular bonuses for chucking very sick and disabled people off the sick.
    We are told DWP makes the decisions. yes they do based on the ATOS medical test and what the ATOS Staff write, but Atos is paid Bonuses for every batch of claimants who have their benefits reduced. Which is why Atos operate a 6 day medical testing system when it was in the hands of the NHS it was operated on the normal working week.
    Maybe its time the cost of any appeal process was removed for the amount atos is paid. As why should the taxpayers purse be charged to correct the mistakes of Atos.

  3. What 9f someone else had become ill due to this grossly incompetent decision by someone in the DWP — Those involved in making this decision should at least be sent for training themselves so future incompetent decisions can be avoided — I wander if, at least, this step has actually been or has nothing been done to avoid these type of decisions in future because if no steps have been taken then some of the DWP management should be given the sack for their own gross negligence.

  4. I would lke to see the paperwork that led to the removal of his ESA, the person that made the decison should be held accountable and sacked for gross incompetence. They can make obviously wrong decisions with little care or redress to the person concerned.
    I had an overactive thyroid and know what it’s like, it is horrendous and potentially very dangerous let alone to have it irradiated. How can some lowly dwp worker with no medical training ever make a decison on a chronically sick or disabled person?

  5. If it was me, I’d stand as close as possible to a member of staff in the job centre, just to see how quickly the situation gets’ sorted, because A LOT of people in job centres seem to have Napoleon complex’s, ‘uck ’em

  6. Nothing to do with a newspaper getting behind this story and the patent idiocy of their initial decision? Hypocritical liars.

      • Unqualified = vast majority of them including the government who makes the legislation that brought this system about in the first place.

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