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Heart Patient’s ESA Reinstated After He Has Cardiac Arrest During Appeal Hearing

May 1, 2016

A heart patient has won back his benefits after being rushed to hospital during his sickness appeal hearing.

A fire drill led to Bob Millar, 61, collapsing as he walked down four flights of stairs because the lift in Holborn, London, was put out of use.

His Employment Support Allowance is now being reinstated. It ceased after a Work Capability Assessment that, he said, followed four heart attacks . He added: “They’ve put me through hell.”

Officials claimed “evac chairs” were available to use.

US firm Maximus took over from Atos in assessing the health of benefit claimants on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions last year.

During an appeal against the cuts to his benefits in Holburn in March this year, the fire alarm sounded and the building was ordered to be evacuated.

Mr Millar, 61, was told he couldn’t get the lift and was told he would have to walk down four flights of stairs – despite it being a routine fire alarm test.

As he walked down the stairs, however, he collapsed with a suspected heart attack and was rushed to nearby University College Hospital by paramedics.

Read more: Double amputee told to prove he is DISABLED after benefits are stopped

Given his history, the 61-year-old – who sleeps with an oxygen mask – was checked over by doctors and monitored for a day before being released, and was judged to have been suffering from an irregular heartbeat.

It was only this week that Mr Millar was finally told that his benefits would be reinstated after he won his appeal.

The DWP have been ordered to reinstate Mr Millar’s Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and has been ordered by backdate payments to when the benefits were stopped last year.

Evidence provided to the appeal hearing showed that Mr Millar suffered ‘significant ongoing issues’ and was unable to work due to a number of medical conditions.

The hearing was told that Mr Millar had his benefits stopped after the Maximus assessor gave him zero points – meaning he was judged fit to work.

The hearing this week awarded him 15 points – the highest you can get – and ordered that he should not be assessed again for two years.

Mr Millar, speaking this week, said the Department for Work and Pensions had ‘ put him through hell’.

He told the Camden New Journal newspaper “It has been horrendous.

“I had already had four heart attacks in the year before my assessment and I was telling them that when someone punched the fire alarm button.

“We were on the fourth floor and they won’t let you in the lift when there’s a fire alarm – so we had to go down the steps. I only made it to the second floor.”

A spokesman for the DWP said the WCA had been improved since it was run by Atos, and that it was now “fairer and more accurate”, adding: “If someone disagrees with a decision they can ask for it to be looked at again, and then appeal to an independent tribunal.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Justin Greenwood permalink
    May 1, 2016 12:14 pm

    this assessor that gave zero points needs to be assessed as suitable for the role, just reading this alone shows quite clearly there is a issue, it is of no great surprise either, I had a condition that only shows itself occasionally and that happened to me going to a meeting on the third centre of the job centre office, that was also after i won a case against the dwp at tribunal, there is a clear need especially after the ch4 dispatches program that any complaints made against any of the hcp at atos, capita or maximus and any one involved in the procedure that is related to the complaint is carried out by seperate investigation teams not employed by any of the companies involved and with service users with experience of the condition being part of the investigation team as well, in cases where a name comes into the equation three times, then there clearly is a issue with the person concerned and all records relating should be pulled for examination for wrongdoing and a mandatory reporting system in place to the professional body as well as spot check inspections with no warning of cases to prevent abuse

  2. May 1, 2016 3:42 pm

    Are you taking note of this Sue Marsh??

  3. Charlie Fox permalink
    May 1, 2016 4:19 pm

    The fragrant Sue Marsh is far too important to interest herself in minor details like someone being put through absolute hell. And why did this poor guy have to even attempt the stairs? Surely there should be refuge areas in this building where people with restricted mobility can wait safely until the fire brigade arrives.

  4. May 1, 2016 6:55 pm

    Reblogged this on campertess.

  5. May 1, 2016 7:25 pm

    Gobsmacked! The poor man, and all others that have had something like this happen. There should always be helpers who can get those with disability issues get out of the building!
    I am terrified to go into somewhere that you have to use a lift to go to another floor – they come down to me or I don’t go.

  6. May 2, 2016 9:15 am

    Reblogged this on sdbast.

  7. May 3, 2016 5:33 am

    Reblogged this on disabledsingleparent.

  8. May 3, 2016 5:35 am

    Tweeted @melissaacde68


  1. Heart Patient’s ESA Reinstated After He Has Cardiac Arrest During Appeal Hearing | Same Difference | Jay's Journal

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