Terminally Ill Man Left ‘Totally Broken’ By DLA-PIP Transfer
A terminally ill man from Southcote says he feels “totally broken” after the Government decided to slash the benefits which he depends on.
After eight years of suffering from an mysterious illness Jason Henry, of Granville Road, was diagnosed with Castleman’s lymphoma at Royal Berkshire Hospital in 2013.
He was then granted a disability living allowance by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to help him retain his independence while undergoing aggressive chemotherapy.
But according to Jason, after months of intensive treatment he was told that his condition is terminal and on Wednesday, February 3 the DWP announced that his disability living allowance would be cut.
The 44-year-old, who is known as Jake by his friends, was then granted personal independence payments (PIP), but he sees these smaller payments as insufficient and insists he cannot remain independent or mobile.
He said: “I just feel totally broken, that money enabled me to get out of my flat, be mobile and be part of my community. Without it I am stuck inside and can’t see my friends or be part of society.
“It’s like taking someone’s legs away when you’re asking them to walk. It was devastating when they took it away, it compounded my whole situation.
“They (DWP) have taken my allowance away because they are saying that I can do things which I can’t because of an Atos medical where I got interviewed by doctors who don’t even know me.
“They don’t know that after I have my chemotherapy I have to have my meals made, my tablets sorted and I need help getting around.”
Jason says the DWP is reviewing his case and it may reconsider its decision, but in the meantime he is relying on generous donations from his friends.
“My friends have been supporting me and my friend Rachel Kelly set up this go fund page,” said Jason, “I really don’t know what I would do without them.”
This isn’t the first time Atos healthcare has come under attack – the firm which carries out medical assessments on behalf of the Government has been heavily criticised by thousands of disabled people.
And at the beginning of February bosses from the outsourcing giant were forced to apologise after they were hauled before MPs to explain missed assessment targets.
He added: “But this isn’t only about me, there are other people out there in the same situation who have had their money taken away which they need to live.
“The Government just takes it and doesn’t realise how much heartache it causes, I have read about people committing suicide because their money has been taken away.”
A DWP spokesperson said: “Decisions on eligibility for personal independence payment are made after consideration of all the evidence, including an assessment and information provided by the claimant and their GP.
“The majority of people leaving the motability scheme will be eligible for a one-off payment of £2,000, which will help ensure their mobility needs continue to be met.
“Claimants who are unhappy with the decision can appeal.”