Letter: In Brief

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The Independent Culture
Sir: I admire people managing to obtain benefits ("We make no apologies for our tough benefits regime", 10 February). I am 56 and have worked throughout my adult life. Recently I had cancer, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, then shingles and a spell in hospital for dehydration.

I applied for disability benefit. I was asked such questions as "Can you walk upstairs?" (physical health OK) and "Can you answer a telephone?" (mental health OK). I was refused benefits and told to find a job. It occurred to me afterwards that everyone in the waiting room had walking sticks. Silly me.

JILL SOUTHWARK

Birmingham

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