Benefits U-turn for disabled gran who attempted suicide after being ruled fit to work

A disabled gran who attempted suicide after being ruled fit for work has had her benefits reinstated after her case was highlighted by the Record.

The 60-year-old gran of six, who has been disabled from birth, took pills days after getting a letter telling her of the verdict from her assessment.

And her furious son accused Maximus – who carry out fit-to-work tests for the DWP – of lying about her capabilities to see her Employment Support Allowance slashed.

The issue was raised by the Record last month and by the woman’s MP Alison Thewliss, who contacted benefits chiefs on behalf of her Glasgow Central constituent.

Now the family have been informed that benefits will be paid to the vulnerable woman, who we have chosen not to identify, for at least two years.

Thewliss welcomed the U-turn but was disgusted that her constituent had been driven to despair.

Her suicide bid could have caused lasting damage to her internal organs
She said: “It is welcome news in light of her harrowing experience.

“That the DWP have put her in this position in the first place is a complete and utter scandal.

“This case shows the reality of what many people have to endure. The DWP and their partner agencies must stop this kind of unjust suffering immediately.

“If anyone needs help, or knows someone who does, they should seek assistance from welfare rights advisers and MPs.”

The woman, born with cerebral palsy and a twisted spine, was awarded zero points in a recent assessment despite also suffering from arthritis in her spine, hands, legs, feet and neck and suffering from fibromyalgia, a condition that causes pain all over the body.

She had never been diagnosed with mental health problems.

The gran’s life was only saved because her daughter found her close to death at her home last month.

She was in intensive care and doctors feared she might have badly damaged her organs.

She remained in hospital for several weeks and will need further support from carers at home.

The Daily Record highlighted the case along with her MP Alison Thewliss
Her son said: “We were set to appeal then out of the blue we received another review letter after our MP got involved, awarding my mum her ESA for two years on the grounds she tried to kill herself.”

The DWP confirmed the reversal and said arrears of the benefit would be paid.

A spokesman added: “Decisions are made following consideration of all the information provided by the claimant, including supporting evidence from their GP or medical professional.

“As requested, we reviewed the claim after receiving additional information and we’ve been in touch to confirm she is being placed in the ESA group.”


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