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BBC Radio Presenter Val Armstrong Wins Tribunal Against DWP

April 20, 2013

 

A BBC radio star has beaten the Government in a tribunal after they wrongly claimed she was fit to work as she recovered from intensive chemotherapy and losing both breasts.

Val Armstrong, of Carlisle, Cumbria, challenged the Department For Work and Pensions (DWP) after they unfairly cut her benefit.

The 48-year-old was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time in August 2010 and as a result underwent a double mastectomy.

In pain from chemotherapy, the BBC Cumbria presenter was off work sick for two years and also suffered from insomnia.

With an active sick note, the DWP allowed her to claim contribution based employment support allowance but put her into a work related activity group for people who they feel are able to return to work.

In March 2012 Val had to undergo a work capability assessment. During this medical she was awarded points according to her condition.

Val needed to accumulate 15 points to continue to receive employment support however she was awarded 0 points.

In April 2012 the DWP deemed her fit for work and were to stop her benefit unless she appealed.

Val who has worked for the BBC for 31 years, said: ‘My wage had stopped and my £96 a week was cut to £71 per week. I wasn’t getting much to start with and of course this caused financial stress.

‘I was lucky that I had put money aside and I had family who could help me financially but not everybody has family who can help them.

‘At a time when I was battling to try to get back to full health, hurdles and obstacles were put in my way which made it very difficult.’

In March 2012 Val had to undergo a work capability assessment. During this medical she was awarded points according to her condition.

Val needed to accumulate 15 points to continue to receive employment support however she was awarded 0 points.

In April 2012 the DWP then deemed her fit for work and were to stop her benefit unless she appealed.

Val teamed up with her Macmillan Cancer Support adviser to lodge one, as she knew she would struggle financially, especially as she cared for her mother.

Six months later she received a phone call from civil servants saying she still did not have enough points for the full benefit.

But after doing her homework Val soon found a regulation which stated that DWP hadn’t followed their own rules.

She then took the DWP to a tribunal on April 3, 2013 which she won, and will now receive a back payment, and has returned to work.

She said: ‘I am hoping that the people who genuinely feel that they have a case will find their voice and will take it all the way.

‘I’m not fazed by the system and I know some people are but I totally believe that if people are being treated wrongly they they should take it all the way.’

A DWP spokesperson said: ‘A decision on whether someone is well enough to work is taken after consideration of all the supporting medical evidence provided by the claimant, but everybody has the right to appeal a decision if they disagree with it’.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 20, 2013 6:27 pm

    Reblogged this on kickingthecat.

  2. March 8, 2015 11:41 am

    Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.

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