Amputee in Bolton declared “fit to work” and has his benefits cut



The Bolton News Saturday 23rd March 2013 in News


Mr. Evans: Fit for work?
Mr. Evans: Fit for work?

MARK Evans cannot walk, has to rely on a mobility scooter and struggles to talk after a tumour left him brain damaged.

But the 50-year-old has been declared “fit for work” and had his benefits cut by £440 a month, leaving him with just £220 to pay his rent, bills and buy food.

Mr Evans, from Daub- hill, has received Incapacity Benefit, now known as Employment and Support Allowance, since 1993 when he suffered a brain injury because of a tumour.

But he had his case reviewed in a Work Capability Assessment as part of a government drive to overhaul the benefits system and his Employment and Support Allowance was stopped.

Mr Evans — who had his left leg amputated below the knee in 2004 due to deep vein thrombosis — launched an appeal, which was recently heard 127 miles away in Workington, Cumbria.

But because of his disability he was unable to travel to the hearing and the case was found against him in his absence.

Mr Evans said:

“It’s wrong, they were saying go there, go there, go there, and I couldn’t.” 

He has now had his benefits cut from £760 a month to just £320 —and £100 of that has to be spent paying for his mobility scooter so he can have some independence.

Denise Lonsdale, volunteer manager at Bolton Unemployed Advice Centre in Deans- gate, has been fighting to have Mr Evans’s benefits reinstated.

She said if she can not overturn the decision, Mr Evans, faces a three- month wait before he can make a fresh claim for benefits — and in the meantime must survive on just £220.

Ms Lonsdale said:

“They had this appeal in Workington but he couldn’t get there.

“The Jobcentre won’t accept him because he’s not fit for work, so he can’t have Employment Support Allowance or Jobseekers Allowance.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: “The old incapacity benefits system condemned too many people to a life on benefits with little hope of moving back to work.

“Now, people who can work will be given help to find a job while those who need unconditional support will get it. Since 2010 we have considerably improved the Work Capability Assessment process.

“As a result the percentage of people getting long-term unconditional support has more than doubled in two years, but everyone has the right to appeal if they disagree with the outcome of their assessment.”

Ms Lonsdale, a former care worker who has volunteered at the centre for the past 24 years, says Mr Evans’ case is not a one off.

She says her workload has trebled in the past 12 months because of the impact of welfare reforms, the economic downturn, and cuts to other advice services such as the CAB.

She said:

“It’s getting worse, with rises in homelessness, redundancies and people needing access to food banks.

“I’m dealing with between 150-200 people a week, people are coming in Saturdays and Sun- days and we’re even giving out bread.” 

The Bolton News 


33 thoughts on “Amputee in Bolton declared “fit to work” and has his benefits cut

  1. wunnell says:

    “A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: “The old incapacity benefits system condemned too many people to a life on benefits ” what a load of bullshit!! “condemned ” my fucking arse, gave people a bit of hope you twisted cunts.

  2. hugosmum70 says:

    here here. i worked at a similar centre to the above a few years ago and things were bad then .now its a million times worse.i dread to think what this evil lot will come up with next.

  3. maureen says:

    I can’t believe this is happening to us all!what the hell do they think were living on ?im left with 50pence a day for food, i dont have my heating on because i can’t afford too. its shocking and a disgrace government you should be bloody ashamed . there is no hope now were all in a black fog and it an’t getting any clearer from where im standing. here here wunnell!!!!!!

  4. Hillary Smith says:

    I heard the news a few weeks ago ,when a minister said he felt sorry for those condemed to a life on benefits.We don’t want or need pity,the majority aren’t scroungers.we just want some respect and enough money to live.We have alife even though it is limited due to our various disabilities.HOW DARE THEY

  5. Secret Plan to Strip DLA says:

    Government’s ‘secret plan to strip claimants of DLA’

    The government appears to have a secret plan to reassess disability living allowance (DLA) claimants who have “indefinite” awards, in a bid to sidestep delays to implementation of its benefit reforms.

    Three disabled people, who all work or volunteer as welfare advisers in different parts of the country, have described to Disability News Service (DNS) what they say is a suspicious trend being seen among long-term DLA claimants.

    All three say the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) seems to be trying to cut the number of people on indefinite awards by reassessing them for DLA, while at the same time promising that no-one with a lifetime or indefinite award will be reassessed for the new personal independence payment (PIP) – the replacement for working-age DLA – until 2015.

    Only last December, Esther McVey, the Conservative minister for disabled people, announced – following concerted campaigning by disability organisations – that those with lifetime or indefinite DLA awards would not be reassessed for PIP until October 2015 at the earliest, six months after the next general election.

    But by reassessing claimants using existing DLA rules instead of PIP, the government can sidestep its own announcement.

    A disabled activist, who tweets as Blueannoyed and volunteers on various disability-related internet forums, has spoken to DNS about her concerns, after dealing with at least five disabled people with indefinite DLA awards.

    All five – including two from Wales, one from Swindon and one from Northumberland – have been told by DWP that they will need to be reassessed for DLA.

    “Blueannoyed” said she had not previously heard of anyone with an indefinite award being reassessed during her three years on the forums.

    She said: “I think there has been a dramatic shift. They are saying 2015 to the public but I think they are trying to shift the goalposts.”

    Mick Dillon, chief executive of the Disability Resource Centre, in Bedfordshire, was another to raise the same concerns.

    He said there had been a “very tangible shift” in the number of disabled people with indefinite or lifetime awards being reassessed. He said he was now expecting to be called in for a reassessment of his own indefinite DLA award.

    Dillon said: “Our chair sits on the disability appeals panel, which is held in our building in Dunstable. She has been seeing, for quite a few months, people with lifetime awards being called in.”

    Another advice centre, Buckinghamshire Disability Service (BuDS), has seen a recent surge in disabled people with indefinite DLA awards being called in for reassessments.

    Andrew Clark, chair of BuDS, said: “A number of people have said that they are being invited to go for a reassessment of their DLA because of a change of circumstances, but they have not actually reported any change of circumstance. They all had indefinite awards.”

    He said he feared DWP was carrying out a “covert rolling programme of reassessments”.

    A DWP spokesman said: “Awards of DLA, whether made for life, indefinitely, or for a fixed period, are made on the basis that the entitlement conditions continue to be met.

    “An indefinite or life award would not generally be reviewed unless there is a change in circumstances that affects the entitlement.

    “This would include a change reported by the claimant, as they are required to do to ensure they receive the correct amount of benefit, or through another source such as fraud referral.

    “There are no plans to reassess people for PIP earlier than the timeline already set out by the government.”

    14 March 2013

    News provided by John Pring at

    1. Kay says:

      I write for kay,she is on hc/hm she is severley disabled ,as 4 carers and night care,shes on indefinate,but yet they sent her a review form,which of course was filled out sent off,with all proof of her medical conditions etc,then they wrote to her gp ,he as replied bk ,he is disgusted that this was happening,this all happened in feb we are just waiting on there reply ,this stress is not one bit helping her at all,she as electric chair in which she cant manouvre the stick her self ,due to her condition affecting her co ordination ,i feel it disgusting for others that are in this position ,its awfull

    2. Frightened Disabled ExPat says:

      You know, it could all be very simple…when you can find someone a full time job that they can actually do, and that is cleared by their Doctor they are “fit for work” otherwise they are not. That’s it…foolproof test for any form of disability or illness. So why do it any other way?

  6. Dreamer says:

    So this man has been made to suffer in this apalling manner because the alternative was to: ‘condem him to a life on benefits’. So in what way precicely is he no longer ‘condemned’?
    I hear this phrase repetedly (and similar phrases – left to languish/fester on benefits) from politicians trying to justify their ‘reforms’.
    Do the people themseves, who are unable to work, and who have to contend with all manner of pain and suffering, feel they were ‘condemed’ or did they merely appreciate that despite everything else they have to contend with they were at least living in a civilised society? Have the policy makers even bothered to ask? I have.

  7. Anthony Turtle says:

    I’ve just been told that my appeal is being heard 18 miles away, why not in my town? But, how could these >Bleeps< expect anyone to travel 127 miles to a tribunal when they are disabled?

    There is no sense to the Department of Workshy and Painfree and their decisions, just like the Government, people with no experience doing jobs that others lives depend on.

  8. steve davies says:

    As an amputee myself , he has my full empathy and support but I cant think how and where he can find help

  9. Marie says:

    Robert Preece
    There’s a saying “you’ve gotta take the rough with the smooth” in this case, it is true, the current system is condemned because we have soo many people who is on this and think they can get away it so yes, this man will have to wait while he makes a new claim where I see him getting his benefits back. The only problem is there isn’t enough jobs because of the immogrants being here and taking the money back to their own countries. We need to get rid of them so the people who are fit for work and have those jobs and put the money back into the system.

    You are so so wrong. There is a very small percentage of people claiming who are not entitled to. I find you comment regarding immigrants ignorant to say the least.

    1. JJ says:

      That person has been booted, Marie! We will not tolerate – yes – FASCIST – commentary! B – Off to the EDL etc. where you belong! Black & White: Unite and FIGHT! We have nothing to loose but the BANKSTERS who caused this crisis and their MINIONS at Westminster who carry out their NEOLIBERAL will! SOLIDARITY with ALL RACES, RELIGIONS AND FAMILIES! IT IS NOT YOU WHO HAVE CAUSED THIS CRISIS!

  10. chindit says:

    if something happens to this man because he cannot keep warm these criminals should be charged. how can these idiots justify spending 150 million of taxpayers money on a football stadium but thieve benefits off the sick.

  11. Jules says:

    I have Cerebral Palsy, I had what is called a Dystonic Storm last September which I am still suffering effects from. I have nothing to hide, so if they want to do this assessing, then bring it on because I tell you something Mr Cameron, would all this victimizing disabled people have been brought about if your DISABLED son had not died?

  12. Steve says:

    Is it not now time for a revolution and forceably bring down this evil gvt. I am lucky. I own my own home. I have diabetes but am well otherwise. But I feel for this man and all like him. To say I hate this crappy government is a understatement. What I would like to do to each member of the Tory Party and their neo Nazi supports can’t be repeated.

    1. Morbid Morag says:

      That’s the elephant in the room. Nearly everybody agrees that what this government is doing is wicked & cruel, but Labour is saying nothing. The last Labour government did nothing for the disabled, in fact they provided the foundation for IDS & his gang to build on. What I find really depressing is the thought that nothing will change no matter who wins the next election.

  13. alan says:

    i can see power beating up wheel chair users, people with walking stick, blind persons , there carers

  14. Thomas says:

    It’s horrible to try and starve the disabled to death.That paticular person has no chance of getting a job.Who would possibly hire him?And why have his appeal in a place where he coulden’t get to it? And I suppose if he had got to it they would say he was not disabled as he got there?

    I despise *New* Labour almost as much as the Tories for starting this Atos stuff, but feel a vote against Labour will be a waste because of the first past the post voting system.

    I’m full of fear that I could have my DLA taken and have to reley totally on my family.I was born with Asperger’s Syndrome and will have it my whole life-it’s not going away.I consider myself unemployable-only scammers want me for a job.

  15. msc legal says:

    I am a welfare benefits freelance lawyer and cover the Bolton area, I would gladly take this gentleman’s case on waiving the 20 o/o no win no fee in this instance. Not only should this gentleman get 71 a week appeal rate until the hearing, he should also be in support group. Most likely a candidate fot arguing Regulation 29? See also free advice on appeals and preparimg a case on facebook group fightback.

  16. Brian Ritchie says:

    Take my advice. Head north till you cross the Scottish border, even if it means living in a tent. Unless my fellow Scots are totally nuts, which I don’t believe they are, we’ll still have civilisation up here post 2014.

  17. Bluesky says:

    Why don’t all the disabled victims get together and bring a ‘class action law suit’ against the government for what they are doing? just think of over 100+ disabled people and the people who help them doing this. What new dirty tricks would the DWP/government come up with to stop it from happening?? The government would not be able to silence them all…

  18. paul dakin says:

    i have been going tho the same sort of thing me self since 2010 just dont know where to turn next

  19. Michael says:

    This is nothing more than hatred against the disabled and others who need our help. Don’t be fooled that this is about saving money. It’s Cameron’s war on the weakest and most vulnerable in our society. It makes me sick to say I am British. I have never know such evil and hatred from a government before and I hate what this country is turing into!

  20. john beechell says:

    £5.8 million this bunch of immoral bastards get as a subsidy for food and drink in parliament..because they are better than us..and deserve to live longer and better lives..that is how they think of you voters and fawning sycophants..who cue to vote thinking it will make a difference..if it made a difference voting would be illegal..every party over the last 60 years has got us into this the key to the bankers and saying we trust every turn the workers get it in the back..if they had the best interests of you and the country in job would go over seas..there would not be an open door to all..industry would not be sacrificed for profit..the poor and old and disabled would not be used as vote catchers..scapegoats of a government immorality..UKIP will be no even now Farage i believe is in talk with Murdoch….that upholder of virtue and moral behavior…he will play UKIP like a puppet..nothing will ever change and will only get seen by the lack of voice from Labor on the legislation to give back money to claimants wrongly stopped…they do not give a F about you..they never have and they never will…once you wake up to that simple fact you will see them for what they are..immoral amoral megalomaniacs..if we showed this behavior and mental aberration we would be sectioned..but we see it as normal in our leaders..where once sleeze and corruption was behind closed they do it in the open..because we have given them the keys to the candy store..and they smile and laugh at our it not also strange that these kick the poor policies have come from our US cousins…when the US catches cold..England sneezes…and hemorrage morals..values..and economic sense..

  21. Thomas says:

    BNP are Nazis,UKIP are facist,Labour,Lib Dems and Tories are the same,and the left wing parties are tiny. We have noone to vote for.

  22. Malcolm Mort, Cardiff. says:

    Unfortunately this is another one of the many dismal failures illustrating the incompetence of the DWP and their Decision Makers.
    People need to consider the fact that this legislation is the work of this Westminster
    Con-Dem Coalition Government and their policy to exploit disabled, unemployed and
    disadvantaged people to pay this countries debts to give millionaires a tax cut. There are
    going to be many more exploited by them including people losing their homes through
    failed businesses. If the public want to contribute to their own downfall by believing the propaganda form Westminster, it’s their own problem. The government have virtually ignored the protests about the way they are treating disadvantaged people.
    Let us all hope that the public give this situation some thought in the approaching
    May elections hoping that they will be voting for prospective candidates who really care about people genuinely in need of help.

    Malcolm H. Mort,
    RNIB CYMRU Member & Hardest Hit Member.

  23. Rudi Affolter says:

    And just what job is it these tossers are expecting this gentleman to do? Stuntman perhaps? Heavy goods vehicle driver? Restaurant waiter?

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