Published on Thursday 14 June 2012 17:34
An Aylesbury woman is fighting back after the Government’s decision to cut back on the amount of people receiving employment benefits.
Alison Chesterton, 42, says she suffers from a degenerative back condition which means she has been unable to work since 2000.
A month ago she received a letter stating that her employment benefit would be terminated after she failed to score any points on the work capability assessment.
The former chef at Bucks County Council now intends to send a letter of complaint to MP David Lidington and appeal the decision.
Mrs Chesterton said: “It’s absolutely disgraceful. It’s criminal.
“What they are doing is basing it on what you can do not what you can’t do…If I didn’t want to go back to work, I wouldn’t go this far.
“They think that just because I can pick up a pencil I’m fine.
“I was eligible for it and now six months down the line I’m not.”
Mrs Chesterton claimed the £400 a month she currently receives is the difference between ‘affording her house and not.’
While she is backed in her claims by her GP at Poplar Grove Practice, Dr Karen Johnson, Mrs Chesterton recognised how difficult it would be for the GP to support her appeal.
“She’s a fantastic GP. But how can she represent all these people at all these appeals?
“There’s a lot that needs to be discussed.
“It’s not just me. I want to bring attention to other’s causes too.”
After sustaining an injury when working at BCC, Mrs Chesterton claimed the council admitted liablity but asked her to prove it.
After undergoing spinal surgery in June 2011, Mrs Chesterton’s mobility has slowly begun to improve.
Dr Johnson described Mrs Chesterton in a letter of support as ‘severely disabled’ and that the ‘pain has a large impact on her quality of life and wellbeing.’
> To qualify to receive employment benefit, you need to score 15 marks in each category in a physical functions test and cognitive, mental and intellectual functions test.
> The physical functions test has 10 categories , including moving around, picking up objects and using your hands.
> The cognitive, mental and intellectual test has seven categories including learning new tasks, coping with changes and being aware of danger.
> At the annual conference of GPs in May, doctors called for the work capability assessment to be scrapped, claiming the tests were ‘inadequate