A severely disabled mum-of-two who struggles to walk more than a few metres has had her mobility allowance axed – because she can squeeze someone’s THUMB.
Mel Wiseman, 43, suffers from debilitating multiple sclerosis (MS) and is unable to walk unaided for more than five metres.
She qualified for disability benefits but has now had her £87-a-month personal independence payment (PIP) cut.
Assessors from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) visited her at home in July and decided she was no longer eligible for PIP.
Bizarrely, the decision was made after Mel, from Leicester, demonstrated to officials that she was able to squeeze someone’s thumb.
Mel’s husband and full-time carer Charlie, 44, said: “All Mel was asked to do was to squeeze this person’s thumb, to touch her toes from a sitting position and to stand on one leg, which she managed to do although holding on to something.”
“Mel was diagnosed with a rarer form of MS in 2014 and has limited lower limb mobility, which means she struggles to walk more than five metres without help.
“She was awarded the PIP last year due to mobility problems, but you have to re-submit the forms every year.
“Mel has deteriorated over the past year.
“This decision strikes me as pure cost-saving – £87 isn’t very much and goes to help with the extra costs which go with Mel’s MS, such as higher insurance, extra equipment and fuel to take her to work and for medical appointments.
“One of the problems with MS is that having anything stress-related compounds the symptoms.
“Mel would much prefer to be able to walk 200 metres than us having to fight for this, as we are having to do.”
The PIP replaced the former disability living allowance with the aim of helping working age people with the extra costs associated with their disability.He added that letters from MS specialists at Leicester’s hospitals stating his wife had “a lot of weakness and spasticity in her legs” and that she frequently stumbled appeared to have been ignored.
North West Leicestershire MP Andrew Bridgen (Con) said: “I have been assisting Mr and Mrs Wiseman in contacting the DWP regarding Mrs Wiseman’s appeal and, following their most recent response, I plan to raise the case at a ministerial level.”
A DWP spokesman said: “Decisions on personal independence payment are made following the consideration of all information provided by the claimant, including any supporting evidence from their GP or medical specialist.
“A claimant who disagrees with the outcome of their assessment can appeal and if their situation changes, can ask to be reassessed.”
she should be demanding the HP and decision maker attend to answer questions and when they don’t turn up ask for a decision in her favour. If she is told the medical person can, or would answer any questions she had. Direct them at them rephrasing them so as to they are answering on their behalf.
1. What books, pages or paragraphs have you/they read on my medical condition(s)?
2. What is your/their job at the third party company tasked with doing an assessment of me?
3. What qualifications do you/they hold in specialised fields of medicine?
4. What makes your/their job so specialised that anyone with the same set of questions could not do it?
5. (specifically for a medical person answering for someone who hasn’t turned up) When was the last time you practised medicine, by that I mean in a surgery as a GP, or hospital, and what field(s) of medicine do you specialise in?
6. Look at the report the alleged HP wrote and tell me what is fact and what is opinion? Anything you have said in the report should have been taken from facts and what they wrote will be opinion as this is the first and possibly only time they will see the claimant.that’s why most,if not all reports contain wording to describe anything the HP writes as “IN THEIR OPINION”
What makes a decision maker? ask of the person to point out the fields they specialise in? How many reports do they get through in one day? Did they contact anyone else to ask about any part of the report? If they did who and what are their specialist qualifications to do with my illness?
PEOPLE GET THE IDEA DEMAND OTHERS< LIKE HP'S AND DECISION MAKERS TURN UP TO BE QUESTIONED BY YOU OR YOUR REPRESENTATIVE. Treat them as some of them treat the sick and disabled!