Sick to Death ~ DISABLED West Fife man has said he would rather die than jump through any more Government hoops to keep sickness benefits


Published 23 Jul 2012 1 Comment

A DISABLED West Fife man has said he would rather die than wade through any more Government red tape to keep the benefits he is entitled to. 

Francis Campbell (55) suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) which causes severe breathing difficulties, restricts his movement and leaves him unable to go up a staircase without the aid of an oxygen tank. 

He completed the process to retain his employment support allowance (ESA) last year and was left so disgusted when he received another stack of paperwork to reapply this week that he has vowed to stop taking his medication until he receives assurances that the UK Government will stop bothering him. 

Francis, from Inverkeithing, said, “They should accept that people with a long-term illness have got a long-term illness and shouldn’t be made to prove it again and again. 

“You’re only getting a couple of months between each form, they make you feel as if you’re jumping through hoops with all the different stages to go through to continue getting the benefits.” 

Francis’ COPD is classed as ‘severe’ and by not taking his medication he is putting his life at risk. 

His family as well as his doctor have strongly advised against his protest but he is adamant that he needs to make a stand.  

Francis was diagnosed with COPD in 1988, but continued working as a railway track maintenance engineer until 2005. His day-to-day life now consists mainly of sitting around the house he shares with his elderly mother and going out to the shops a couple of times a week. 

He takes a number of different types of medication twice daily and spends most days hooked up to an oxygen tank for up to 16 hours. 

He said, “I worked for as long as I could and I don’t feel like I’m being helped with this at all because I would prefer to still be able to work. 

“When I was first on this benefit it was five years between each medical and I would accept it being reduced to three because I know they need to weed people who abuse the system but to do this annually for someone with a long-term illness is extreme. 

“It’s putting me under a lot of unnecessary stress.” 

The UK Government is seeking to reassess all 2.6 million people in Britain on ESA – the successor to incapacity benefit – by 2014 in an effort to cut the welfare bill and encourage more people back into work. 

Claimants are being forced to fill in a work capability assessment to determine if they are entitled to the highest rate of ESA – for those deemed unable to work at all due to sickness or disability – or are considered ‘fit for work’, in which case they are put on jobseeker’s allowance instead. 

Francis’ local MSP Helen Eadie recently hosted an event at Holyrood which highlighted the unfairness of the changes to benefits that are being forced upon people. 

She said, “Mr Campbell is being put in an intolerable position and the authorities should think again. 

“It is worth pointing that of those turned down for ESA, as many as 60 per cent win their appeals which shows that the system is just not working.” 

COPD is the fifth biggest killer in the world, with an estimated 250 people dying from the disease every hour. 

A DWP spokesperson said, “The Work Capability Assessment is an important part of the Government’s reforms to incapacity benefits. The old system simply wrote too many people off without looking at what they were able to do.

“Re-assessments determine what, if any, work a person could undertake, as medical conditions do change over time. 

“Following the re-assessment our decision maker will decide if the claimant needs to be re-assessed and in what timescale. As said if it’s found the condition hasn’t changed following that re-assessment then s/he would be allowed to stay on Employment Support Allowance.”

Dunfermline Press

10 thoughts on “Sick to Death ~ DISABLED West Fife man has said he would rather die than jump through any more Government hoops to keep sickness benefits

  1. Jane Russell says:

    Makes me fume! I am sick to death of the DWP’s standard line“The Work Capability Assessment is an important part of the Government’s reforms to incapacity benefits. The old system simply wrote too many people off without looking at what they were able to do.

    “Re-assessments determine what, if any, work a person could undertake, as medical conditions do change over time.”

    It doesn’t take Einstein to work out that this poor man’s condition will never get better – but not under Camerscum it would seem.

    As a former employee of the Department, I am completely disgusted that this is happening – up until this monster changed the rules, it was accepted that people with serious deteriorating conditions were never going to be fit for work, using common sense & their own medical references written by experts. , whilst he continues to bludge everything for free off the tax payer.

    I find it astonishing that you have to be a terrorist these days before the human rights brigade will step in and defend you, but decent genuine ill and disabled people are constantly hounded and treated as though they are dishonest scroungers.

    I hope that karma pays the evil leech Cameron an almighty visit soon!

  2. Barry says:

    The thing is with these NEW assessments are compiled on a computer NO such Medical assessment By a medically trained person is ever carried out & you really can not tell if someone is able to work merely by questions and answers system and how the hell can you say a person is fit for work by merely picking up a one pond off a table, how is it they can clame a person is fit for work without carrying out a medical examination as most jobs these days expect there employs to be one mentally and two visually fit for work if a person can not concentrate duo to a mantle interment they are not fit for work and if a person can not move himself or items around without difficulty they are not visually fit for work but this questions and answers systems can see your mental or visual ability’s common sense tells you that so the conclusion is this government has NO common sense.

  3. Pink Parrot says:

    SURELY TO GOD this harassment of sick and disabled people cannot just go on forever? This poor man – my heart goes out to him. This country is run by barbarians. They should have to answer to the European Court of Human Rights for what they’re doing to people. It is inhuman. They should have to answer for their crimes like the Nazis at Neuremberg.

  4. jeffery davies says:

    rights whot rights we have none and like this man there are loads who dont just claim as of the aggro ,but will it mean anything to our wonderfull mps i dont think so nowt hes just a number and wont upset their teatime meals supserdised that is jeff3

  5. Humanity2012 says:

    We do Not Need any Lessons in Morality from Politicians whilst Billions are
    Wasted upon Warmongering in Afghanistan and upon Nuclear Weapons

    It Makes me Sick the Suffering of People like the Above and also the Slavish
    Docility of People in the UK Not to Mention the Feckless Selfishness

    Cuckooland is an Appropriate Motto for the UK 2012

  6. jefflph says:


  7. Dissabled dave says:

    Of course, Grayling and Cameron are Gods, so when they say “You will all be fit work”, lo and behold even the dead will rise from their graves, look for work, and……..find themselves on the dole queue, because there aren’t enough jobs available for the fit, never mind the sick and disabled. Then with the raising of the retirement age there will be even more elderly sick ordered to find work.

  8. Barry says:

    Firstly the money the sick and disabled get is for help with there day to day needs like getting around it’s the simple things in life that make a sick or disabled persons quality of life better and many of them given the chance would love to work but are unable duo to there illness or disability, what shocks and horrifies me is a person can turn up at a medical assessment on crutches or walking stick or with a person to communicate on there behalf duo to mental impairment only to find out they are according to there assessors are fit for work yet this assessors could clearly see these people had some level of disability or illness that would prevent them from ever getting a job. Maybe someone should kneecap Cameron so he can get a full understanding of illness and disability. The only person that duns any real good for this country and its welfare state was Margret Thatcher.

  9. Sharon root says:

    What a load of crap they clearly really are that stupid! I completely understand where Mr Campbell is coming from I too find dealing with the stupidity of some of the DWP/ATOS personnel far too difficult and they now have to go through my daughter to contact me which is much better as she vets stuff first! but aparently they dont have brains they are robots! and an anagram of ATOS is TOSA! WHICH SAYS IT ALL REALLY 🙂

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