Broken spine mum loses adapted car – new DWP criteria says she no longer qualifies

DISABLED mum Melanie Day fears she will be left housebound in a village after having her car and benefits taken away.

Under the new criteria, Melanie no longer qualifies

The 40-year-old has only 30 per cent feeling in her right leg, needs a stick to walk and has to take 12 painkillers every day after fracturing part of her spine in a car crash six years ago. 

Melanie has been receiving £70 a week disability living allowance (DLA), £50 of which goes on a specially-adapted Motability car.

But after a fresh assessment, which involved reviewing her recent medical history and asking her to walk across a room at her home unaided, the mum-of-two has been told she does not fit the criteria for the financial help.

Melanie, from Waterhouses, near Leek, says she may have to move house because she does not think she will be able to cope without the use of a car at her current home.

Now she is waiting to hear the outcome of an appeal and plans to set up a petition to help people in a similar situation.

Melanie said: “The crash completely changed my life. I have been in an awful lot of pain ever since it happened and I can’t work.

“I walk with crutches or a stick in the house and have to use a wheelchair to get further than 50 yards.

“My car gave me a bit of independence. I regarded my car as my legs. I’ll be housebound without it. Others will have to do everything for me or I will have to move house.”

Melanie’s eldest daughter Katie is her main carer. Among the tasks Katie, aged 18, has to carry out is helping her mum in and out of the bath and with any jobs that involve bending down.

Melanie also gets wobbly when standing up for long periods of time so Katie has to cook hot meals for her to avoid danger from burns and spills.

Katie said: “I am very unhappy that my mum’s DLA has been stopped and they are taking her car from her.

“If she ends up permanently losing the car, it will have a great impact on our lives. We won’t be able to get out of the village for basic needs. My mum will again be housebound and lose her independence.”

A spokesman for the Department of Work and Pensions said people’s benefits situation can change over time and that Melanie has the right to appeal.

The spokesman said: “DLA is paid to help people who are unable to do things like walk or wash and dress themselves.

“A person’s condition can change and, as a result, the rate of benefit can change too, or be stopped.

“We are now reforming DLA to introduce a new objective assessment and regular reviews to ensure people are getting the right levels of support.”

The case follows two other controversial benefits assessments reported by The Sentinel. Last Monday we told how cancer patient Judith Streeton learned her benefits could also be cut. And the following day arthritis sufferer Gary Hulme told how his benefits had been slashed by almost £400 a month.

www.thisisstaffordshire.co.uk

Comments
  • Jill Jervis May 8, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    It’s all a plow by this Government to get rid of the disabled and those who can’t work because of illness. Either you die of stress or kill yourself and any dependant kids. There are on average 32 deaths per month & the Government knows about them but I don’t see them doing anything. My family are getting ready to take everyone concerned with my reassessment to court because of any ill effects it has on me. We’ve got to fight back.

  • […] Broken spine mum loses adapted car – new DWP criteria says she no longer qualifies Posted on April 6, 2012 by JJ The Sentinel […]

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