Amputee denied benefits despite chronic pain

Sep 6 2012 by Janine Yaqoob, Crosby Herald

AN AMPUTEE who can’t work because of his poor health has been told he is no longer eligible for disability benefits.

George Mullen, from Brighton-le-Sands, had a leg amputated when he was 18 after an accident as an apprentice joiner. Despite this, he continued to work for over 35 years full-time.

At the time, a solicitor told him not to go back to work, but he ended up as a successful clerk for a small business, despite suffering from chronic pain.

From chronic infections and abscesses at the amputation site, to developed arthritis in his neck, shoulders, back, and the knee and foot of his remaining leg, every day is a struggle for Mr Mullen.

But, despite this, he continued to work until a member of the HR department at the company told him he was being retired on health grounds.

Now on a 24-hour blood pressure monitor because stress pushes his blood pressure to dangerously high levels, Mr Mullen applied for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) as a last resort.

After recently attending a work capability assessment, Mr Mullen was shocked to discover his money was being stopped.

Critical of the disability assessment carried out by Atos Healthcare, Mr Mullen contacted Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson for advice.

Now the MP is calling on the Government to replace the private company which works on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

He said: “I’ve met with constituents who clearly have disabilities where Atos reports bear little or no resemblance to their own circumstance.

“The accuracy of these reports needs urgent investigation.

“George Mullen’s case is just one of many which have been brought to me. It came as a complete shock to have his ESA stopped recently, when the year was up. He has applied again and awaits his assessment.”

Bill Esterson, who spoke in a Westminster Hall debate about Atos Healthcare, added: “There is something fundamentally wrong with this system.

“That has been supported not just by the claimants, but also the British Medical Association.

“This is about real people – at-risk people in our communities – who need help.”

An Atos Healthcare spokesperson said: “We fully understand that applying for benefit can be an emotive experience for those involved, which is why we continue to make sure that the service that we provide is as highly professional and compassionate as it can be.

“We do not define welfare policy or make decisions on people’s benefit.

“The process and criteria for all assessments are set by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and approved by our democratically elected Parliament.

“Our focus is to ensure that our team of fully qualified doctors and nurses carry out thousands of accurate assessments every month, in full accordance with the detailed guidelines set by the DWP.”

The Crosby Herald

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4 Responses to Amputee denied benefits despite chronic pain

  1. staci says:

    As an above knee amputee myself after enduring almost 70 operations, three of them cross foot flaps where your legs are pinned together for weeks, 23 broken bones and 1,400+ days in the University of Michigan Hospital and four months in traction in the Burn Unit from a complete degloving from hip to toes. The amputation and excruciating phantom limb pain have been much more agonizing than the above put together. I can’t go back but one leg is easy compared to the domino effect it has on your body. More disabled from the chronic pain than from anything else. How would you or the panel of these judges making these decisions work with a mouthful of the worst toothaches imaginable?? You couldn’t and wouldn’t. Picture your limb that is gone in a meat grinder with fire ants all over and in a garbage disposal with your phantom foot crushed down and you can’t rub it or move it. I’ve tried 45 different meds. This man has put his time in unlike millions of able bodied no chronic pain individuals that milk the system and have one kid after another. I’m discussed and can only pray Mr. Mullen receives disability. What comes around goes around.

  2. jeffery davies says:

    our service is none to good but we will strive to rid camerooon of all those hangers on so we at atos are keeping the pressure off our goverment jeff3

  3. Andrew Healey says:

    First of all AtoS may not make the decision to remove benefit from chronically sick and or disabled people, it is based on the fact that chronically sick and or disabled people are found fit for work,which is backed up with falsified documents written by the so-called professional fully qualified doctors and nurses who are obviously finding terminally ill patients fit for work.Bonus anyone. Being a private company they can’t make welfare policy the government does. AtoS just LIE and Fraudulently fill out reports to back the governments scapegoating of the chronically sick and or disabled people. The doctors and nurses who carry out this fraud should be struck off they are deliberately going against the Hippocratic oath they took, again Bonus anyone. If I recall we do not have a democratically elected government they did not win an election any of them and this bunch of NAZI SCUM have no mandate or power to do what they are doing, they are nothing more than a cabal of frauds, liars, cheats, tax evaders and criminals. So the AtoS healthcare ( that’s a laugh ) spokesperson either doesn’t know what they talking about or are part of the same cabal. UNUM anyone corruption endorsed by the unelected British government.

  4. Sharon says:

    What a load of old tosh! I am getting sick just hearing the line we do not make the decisions blah blah That is clearly a ploy between the two of them (DWP& ATOS) So they can play mind games and lets all pretend?! Its bollocks! get some balls and take responsibility! STOP all the lies and misinformation! Own it you arseholes!

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