A disabled man who lost both legs and four fingers to diabetes has been asked to prove he is unable to work by the Department of Work and Pensions.
9:57AM BST 17 Aug 2012
A disabled man has been asked to prove he is unable to work by the Department of Work and Pensions despite having both legs amputated due to diabetes.
Chris Cann, 57, was left wheelchair bound after losing both legs and four fingers to diabetes.
Despite being housebound, the widower has been ordered to attend an assessment centre to prove he is too disabled to work or his £600-a-month benefits will be stopped.
Chris, who developed diabetes six years ago, started claiming disability allowance in 2008 – before he had his legs amputated.
Two years ago he had his right leg amputated below the knee and in January this year Chris had surgery again to have his left leg removed as well as four fingers on his right hand.
This week Chris received a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions ordering him to undergo medical tests to prove he should receive the new Employment and Support Allowance.
He said: “It is a waste of time. Four years ago I was unfit to work and my health has deteriorated a lot since then. Even if I could get down there they will take one look at me and say I am unfit for work.
“I am very obviously disabled so I don’t see what tests they have to do.
“I am housebound and on my own. They expect me to get a taxi which will cost me £10 each way but I can’t really do that without help.
“I can’t even get upstairs to turn the heating on so how do they expect me to go to all these places?”
Chris, who lost his wife of 11 years Emma earlier this month, was forced to give up his job as a catering manager in 2008 after being diagnosed with diabetes.
He underwent an assessment which ruled he was too disabled to work and he began receiving benefits.
But after new rules were introduced to tighten up the benefits system he has been told to prove he cannot work under the DWP’s Work Capability Assessment measures.
A DWP spokesman said: “The old system simply wrote too many people off without looking at what they were able to do.
“If someone can no longer do the job they used to do, the Work Capability Assessment looks at what other kinds of work they may be able to do.”