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Tommi Miller, 7, Battling Leukaemia, Fed By Foodbanks After DWP Stop His DLA

January 30, 2015

It just doesn’t get much worse than this, readers.

The family of a seven-year-old boy battling leukaemia have been forced to use foodbanks after their benefits were axed.

Tommi Miller’s parents received £700 a month to help look after him until he was given the all-clear last April.

But when the cancer returned in a more virulent form, Ruth, 39 and Kevin, 42, stopped work to care for their son.

They hoped the Department for Work and Pensions would restart the payments. But officials said No.

With no income for six months, the family have relied on foodbanks to eat.

They have struggled to pay gas bills, been threatened with eviction and could only celebrate Christmas after friends raised £1,200.

One of Tommi’s consultants at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, also gave them £600 in supermarket vouchers so they could survive winter.

Mum-of-four Ruth said: “Everything we have is spent on the kids – me and Kevin are happy to go hungry.

“They should have a heart and realise our priorities are not rent and council tax.

“Every single thought is focused on our child.”

Kevin added: “What they are doing to us is inhuman – this is a young boy who is suffering.”

Tommi was diagnosed with leukaemia at three and had countless courses of chemotherapy.

His parents were able to care for him with the help of a disability living allowance, carers allowance and mobility allowance.

Last April the family were told he was in remission. The benefits were immediately stopped despite the fact he still had severe health problems and needed regular hospital appointments.

Ruth and Kevin’s claim for the payments to continue was rejected and in May they appealed for it to be reconsidered. 

Then, in September, Tommi’s cancer returned, attacking his spinal cord, bone marrow and brainstem. It meant two more years of chemotherapy and a possible marrow transplant.

Barmaid Ruth and maintenance engineer Kevin quit their jobs to care for Tommi.

Because they had received no word from the DWP they submitted a fresh claim for benefits to resume.

After a wait of almost nine months the couple’s first claim was rejected last week because it was sent while Tommi was in remission. And the DWP claim the second application never arrived.

 Tommi Miller's benefit refusal letter
Hammer blow: The letter refusing more benefits for Tommi

The couple’s only income for the last six months has been £50-a-week child tax credit.

Ruth, also a grandmother of three, said at the family’s Cambridge home: “Tommi doesn’t have a winter coat because we can’t afford one so we just wrap him up in blankets.

“We are living on foodbank vouchers and Salvation Army handouts.

“Neighbours have also cooked dinners and brought them around. Without them we would be starving.”

A spokesman for the DWP said a decision on benefits was expected as early as next month.

He added: “We have followed the correct procedures.”

3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 30, 2015 12:09 am

    Reblogged this on lawrencerowntree.

  2. January 30, 2015 12:47 pm

    Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating and commented:
    ” I was just following orders”! (My phrasing)
    IDS has his department trotting out that mantra each time another case like this pops up in the media. Granted, the phrase “We have followed the correct procedures.” doesn’t sound as dismissing as mine above, but the sentiment is exactly the same.
    I’ve already previously reblogged this disgusting example of the DWP’s heartless agenda, but it deserves maximum exposure which is why I have reblogged it again from your kind self.
    Getting these cases out into the public domain is the only way we can highlight the disgusting treatment of the sick, disabled, elderly and the unemployed (both young & old) & the disadvantaged electorate in general.
    This Tory led Coalition dont, and have never, give a shit about the common people, except when it comes to denying them any sort of necessary help & support, both financial & pastoral, and when keeping them in penury with no dignity whatsoever, to look after their families.
    Steal from the poorest using the Austerity excuse, and give it all to their rich overlords in gratitude for the millions & millions in donations that the Private & Corporate sector give them!


  1. Leukamia Boy Tommi Miller, 7, Has DLA Reinstated | Same Difference

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