Paralympian with one leg told he’s ‘not disabled enough’ to receive benefits ~ Manchester Evening News

By Chris Jones September 13, 2012

A Paralympian who only has one leg has been told he will not receive benefits – because he is not disabled enough.

Wayne Fisher, who played for the GB wheelchair basketball team, has applied for disability living allowance after losing his job.

The dad-of-one hoped the benefit would let him apply for an automatic Motability car to help find work and support his family – including five-month-old daughter Miley-Kay.

But the Department for Work and Pensions has told Wayne – a member of the GB Paralympic team at the 1996 Games in Atlanta – he ‘isn’t eligible’ for the allowance, even though he has received it before in 2005.

Only the ‘most severely’ disabled qualify for the benefit, which is worth between £20.55 and £131.50 a week and will be axed in April.

Wayne, of Peel Lane, Heywood, says his family is forced to live on just £109-a-week maternity pay office worker wife Emma receives.

He said: “I know the government is cracking down on benefit cheats and they’re right to do that. But I’m not putting this on, I can’t just grow another leg.”

Emma, 32, said: “We have to live on £109. I bet people in the government spend that on lunch.”

Wayne had his lower leg removed as a child due to a condition which meant it didn’t grow normally.

He lost his customer service job in March and has since taken temporary roles which have meant standing up. He developed painful abscesses which need surgery – meaning he can’t wear his prosthetic limb and is unable to drive a manual car.

Wayne said: “I’ve worked most of my life and I want to carry on working. I’ve paid into the system all my life and when I want something back from it I feel like they are putting up a brick wall. The Paralympics have changed attitudes, but the government has not changed its attitude about helping those who need it.”

A DWP spokesman said: “DLA is designed to give severely disabled people who are unable to walk or virtually unable to walk the extra cash support they need to live more independent lives.”

He said DLA will be replaced by Personal Independence Payment to develop a ‘fairer’ system with ‘more objective assessment’. But Paralympic legend Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson has slammed the changes, saying DLA was vital to allow disabled people to live independently.

 
Comments
  • JJ September 14, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    They should have protested while they had chance. People only seem to get with it when THEY’RE under attack! :-(((

  • jeffery davies September 15, 2012 at 11:17 am

    hahaha you got to give it to them soiunding like a goverment parrot but they dont want to give dla to anyone if they can as it leaves lesss in the pot for people like emma who awards herself a bonus that even we cant farthom the pure greed by these people torys who pay their friends daily big bucks while they starve us how lovely are they miss meals and homelessness are just part of this goverments maltreatment of the disabled and sick stand up and be counted those mps who say nothing and get rid of this evil lot jeff3

  • Victoria D'Arcy September 17, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    I was wondering when they’d start on the paralympians….

  • You must be logged in to comment. Log in
%d bloggers like this: