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Ryan Norman

September 15, 2013

How many more of these cases do we bloggers have to cover?


A seriously disabled man who has never been able to walk, talk or feed himself has had his benefits stopped and been told he must have a medical to decide if he is fit for work.

Ryan Norman has needed round the clock care since he was a baby but now he has turned 20 his child benefit and tax benefits have automatically stopped.

His mother, Ceneta, his sole carer, claims she is in serious financial difficulties after the benefits dried up on Ryan’s birthday – September 1 – with a wait of several weeks before he is assessed for adult benefits.


Ms Norman, of Darlington, County Durham, described her son as a baby trapped in an adult’s body and said she cannot understand why he must prove his disabilities for the adult benefits system when his condition is already well documented.


The single mother said she will struggle to provide for Ryan and her two other children, Shane, 15, and Shanice, nine, without money for Ryan’s care.

Ms Norman, 49, said: ‘Everything seems to be such a struggle, the authorities don’t seem to think of him as a person at all.

‘There is no communication between the children’s side and the adult side at all – they blame each other and I am passed from pillar to post. I don’t know what I am going to do.’

Child tax credits are assessed and paid by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and automatically stop when a child reaches 20 if they have been in full-time education.

The adult benefits system is operated by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which introduced a Work Capabilities Assessment last year to determine whether disabled people could be considered fit for work.



Ryan was born a healthy baby but contracted meningitis at four months old, leaving him severely disabled.

He attended a special school at Education Village, in Haughton, Darlington, but after turning 20 he is now classed as an adult.

Ms Norman, 49, said: ‘Ryan cannot walk or talk, I have to feed him, help him to drink, do everything for him.

‘He will never work or do anything for himself. That did not change overnight when he turned 20.

‘When he was in the hospital with meningitis the doctors did not expect him to pull through. They said he was a little miracle.

‘I look after him, he’s my pride and joy, but I must be saving the Government thousands of pounds by looking after him myself.’

Ms Norman claims she had been given no indication that her payments for Ryan would stop so suddenly and only found out about the need for a medical after calling the benefits office when she noticed her payments had been reduced.

She added: ‘I can understand the need for his benefits to change but it is the gap between the child benefits ending and the adult ones starting. There’s no co-ordination.’

A spokeswoman for Darlington Borough Council said: ‘The changes in benefit referred to are a result of Government policy.

‘DWP are responsible for the assessment for these benefits not the council. However, the council is providing the family with advice regarding completion of the relevant forms and will continue to support the family throughout this matter.’

A HMRC spokeswoman said customers in receipt of child benefit would be written to ahead of the child finishing education.

She added: ‘Once a child who has been in education or training turns 20 payments will stop automatically and with immediate effect.’

A DWP spokesman said: ‘Disabled adults often have different support needs to children, and this is reflected in the different benefits available to people when they reach adulthood.

‘Employment and support allowance is a benefit for adults who are too ill or disabled to work. To apply for it, someone just needs to fill out a form and provide some medical evidence.

‘If we are given all the information we need to enable us to make a decision, there is often no need for a face to face assessment.’


2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 15, 2013 8:26 pm

    The main problem with the DWP and HM RC is that the overall education of those that work there is woefully inadequate for the job in hand coupled with the fact that IDS has a poor education which invariably leads to the problems we see so often today and that in a nutshell sums it up

  2. September 16, 2013 1:44 am

    Reblogged this on Benefit tales.

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