Thursday 26 March 2015

Disabled man gets benefits reinstated- A rare DWP story with a happy ending

We have heard, over and over again, sad stories of people being denied benefits that they need, particularly those benefits which are there for people who are sick or disabled. 

Almost invariably these stories have had a sad ending, often involving the death of the claimant.

But for once we have a story with a happy ending, and possibly we can learn something form this. 

Firstly the family concerned went to to the local newspaper with their story, and so got it publicity. 

Secondly, of course, we are but 40 odd days away from a General Election. The two may or may not be connected.

Anyone with a legitimate grievance against the DWP might think that this an appropriate time to air their views through their local press. And just to be sure, to do it before the election while politicians pretend to give a damn.

Here's the story:

A disabled 62-year-old man whose benefits were stopped because the DWP said he was fit to work, has had them re-instated after his story appeared in the Chronicle.

Richard Ashby, of Sandy Lane, Goostrey, has Pagets Disease, a bone disorder in which the normal repair process is disrupted. He also has osteo-arthritis, is diabetic and says he keeps falling asleep because of the medication he is on.
On January 6, following a medical inspection by Atos in December, the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) stopped Richard’s £70 a week Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

“He was called in for the medical in December and on January 6 they sent a letter out to say they were stopping his money and he’s fit to work,” Richard’s cousin, Sarah Thorne told the Chronicle at the time.

Richard appealed against the decision explaining he was in constant pain and not fit to work but, despite repeated calls to the DWP, Sarah said they made no progress with getting the benefits re-instated, so she contacted the Chronicle.

The story appeared on January 28.

“Two days after they reinstated his money – after it had appeared in the Chronicle,” said Sarah.

“He’s got his money reinstated and they’ve now put back what he was stopped. I’m sure it’s to do with putting it in the Chronicle.”

Richard, who lodges at his cousin’s house, has also since had an apology and been told he is eligible for another benefit payment.

The former lorry driver who left school at 14 and had worked all his life until he became ill in 2011, said at the time he had been made to feel like a scrounger by the DWP.

“In the end it’s turned out better than we could have hoped for,” he said.

The emphasis and illustrations are ours.


  1. Shine a light on them and they scurry away, to sort it out. Shocking his social security was taken away, in the first place.

    1. Yes, looking at the case as presented by the paper, it seems he has a problem with his bones crumpling, and another one when means that they don't repair themselves, all added to being diabetic and having to take strong medication which leaves him sleepy.

      Added to which the man is in his 60s. If he were a woman he would probably be on pension by now. Given that he's worked all his days and paid into the scheme, adn they chances of him getting another job are minimal, I'd say that the DWP were chancing this more than a bit.

      But give them publicity in the paper at election time and things happen.

      It's sad that it's the only time most of them give a damn about us.

    2. Actually no he isn't eligible for a pension yet. Current female requirement age is 63. I've a female friend who is 60 and been told that her retiral age is 66 and 10 months!

    3. Thanks Anon. I know it is a sliding scale. Mind he's 62. Surely, if the female retirement age is currently 63 he shouldn't be hounded by the bastards even if he weren't incredibly unwell.

      I don;t know when that heartless soulless lot will realise that employers don't want older employees. They should understand it. They get chucked out the door themselves at 60, no ifs no buts.

      Of course with the serial liar and cheat Underpants Smith at the helm, no wonder they are inhuman.

  2. Tris

    People should not have to go to these lengths for Social Security, it's sick.


    1. Yes absolutely.

      I'd be the first to admit there are skivers and there are people who cheat. I've seen them, worked with some of them and on occasions made their lives difficult.

      But social security is there to help people who need it when they have had a hard time.

      This bloke has been paying for his insurance all his working life which appears to have started very early.

      It's a bloody scandal that a thieving lying bastard like IDS can take it away from him.

  3. Well done for the story with a happy ending Tris.

    Sadly as you said many times this should never happen. I have witnessed and gone through the procedure myself. Its degrading . I took a while to get what little dignity i had back and like everyone else in my position , it's not over. They come back and start all over again after a few months.

    It's sad that the weakest and unfortunate are no longer victims of circumstance but scroungers and cheats.

    People are going through this now , today and the number of deaths has been hidden from the public.

    Averaging 32 a week at the moment and that's only what they will admit too.

    I am ashamed of the UK i once served.

    1. Thanks for that link, Richy. It's disgusting.

      I'm ashamed too, to be British when I see this kind of figure... and at the same time see RBS and HSBC getting away with mass theft and being rewarded for it by titlesd and seats in government.

      I wonder at the people who approve the likes of Virgin getting to buy large parts of the health service to make money from, whist dodging tax, no doubt quite legally, with the advice of the same people who advise the treasury. Price Waterhouse Cooper or some such organisation.

      We're a country that has money for memorials to wicked old bats like Thatcher, but not enough to give an ex soldier (whom they have used to rally support in the past) a decent life when he retires from service.

      And they want us to be patriotic.

      Try again!

  4. Good to see that the General Election and a Newspaper can do some good. Wee story about a man and a Brain Tumour and the Doctor who worked for a certain large Telecoms company. This man had an inoperable Brain Tumour and was unable to work because of it, his 6months full pay and six months half pay had run out and he was forced to return to work because of lack of money because the Doctor said nobody was going to be allowed to leave because of sickness. So much for the Hippocratic oath. Not only the DWP are guilty people, always said that the NHS was under threat by some of those who are charged to care for it and they are not all Politicians.

    1. Yep I know. Some doctors are beyond the pale.

      I once went to the doctor with what I thought was flu. I was feeling really under the weather. I hadn't been to the doctors at all as an adult and even had to check up with my mum where it was. He was ex military, and very elderly, probably a locum.

      He told me that I had flu but that MEN didn't take time off work with flu. Only WOMEN did that kind of thing.

      I had, he said, a sedentary job, I could manage fine.

      I was too sick to fight it, but took a few days off and went back to work.

      It turned out I had Glandular Fever!!!

      Bloody halfwit. I had two years of illheath as a result of his bumbling macho incompetence, idiotic old fool.