A woman who has been blind her whole life has been declared fit for work following a Government assessment.
Hazel Macrae has artificial eyes and suffers from epilepsy, Type 2 Diabetes and osteoarthritis – but has been told she has a ‘limited capacity for work’.
The 62-year-old from Newcastle says she has been told to apply for ‘all jobs going’ even though she can’t leave her home without help.
She said: ‘They think they can support me back into work but I can’t do it.
There are no jobs that I can do. They have said that I can use my hands and I’m expected to apply for all jobs going.
‘I can’t even make a cup of tea myself because of the boiling water.’
Miss Macrae, who claims Employment Support Allowance (ESA), was told she needed to fill in a back to work assessment.
The 62-year-old has not worked since her early 20s (Picture: NCJ Media)
She completed the questionnaire and undertook a face-to-face assessment with a health professional, before being told she could work.
Her ESA has been moved from the Support Group to Work Related Activity Group, and reduced by £15 per fortnight.
Two years ago, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) made a similar ruling, and though Miss Macrae lost an appeal, she took them to a tribunal and won.
She said: ‘My health hasn’t got any better since two years ago so I don’t know why this has happened.
‘It is just so horrible. They don’t even send you the letters in brail, my partner has to read them.’
Miss Macrae last worked in her early 20s, in a cardboard box factory in Gateshead.
A Department of Work and Pensions spokesman said many blind people can be supported back into work with training.
He added: ‘Decisions for ESA are made following consideration of all the information provided by the claimant, including supporting evidence from their GP or medical specialist.
‘Miss Macrae has asked us to look at her case again, and we will be in touch with her with our decision.’