Double amputee's anger at benefit query over how far he could walk
Wednesday 02 May 2012
The family of an engineer who has had both his legs amputated said today
they could not believe he was asked how far he could walk as part of
his application for disability living allowance (DLA).
John Bower, 45, from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, applied for the benefit in February following a nightmare five months for him and his wife, Jayne, 48.
The couple told the Huddersfield Examiner that Mr Bower became ill in October last year and was taken to hospital where he was diagnosed with meningitis.
Medics at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary saved his life but gangrene developed in his legs.
In December the decision was taken to amputate both of his legs below the knee.
Mrs Bower described how, after her husband applied for DLA, they had to answer questions over the phone about his claim including how far he could walk and when he would be able to walk.
She said: "It was as if they were trying to catch us out with their questions. We told them to come and see John here if they didn't believe us but they said they don't do home visits."
The couple said they are currently living on £81.61 a week sickness benefit, plus £10 a fortnight housing benefit.
They are also living in a temporary bedsit while they wait for a house to be adapted by the council.
A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: "We sometimes contact people over the phone to speed up the claims process and verify information.
"People can tell us if they prefer to be contacted through the post.
"We know that DLA is an outdated benefit and the existing application process is over-complicated. That is why we are introducing the new personal independence payment with a face-to-face assessment.
"This will give people the opportunity to discuss the effects of their condition with a health care professional in person."
It is understood Mr Bower will receive a decision about his disability living allowance in the next few days.
Life & Style blogs
Watching TV after work makes you feel 'guilty and like a failure'
Zebra meat: Exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Alien: Isolation preview - If you scream in space, it makes a sound
Xiaomi Mi4: 'Chinese Apple' launches flagship mobile to challenge iPhone
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt
- 1 Malaysian cyclist could face disciplinary action after 'Save Gaza' gloves protest
- 2 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 3 McDonald’s removes chicken nuggets from the menu in Hong Kong amid major food scare
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 5 Satellite full of sexually experimental geckos adrift in space, Russia loses control of mission
£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...
Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...
£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established software house ba...