‘I can’t breathe and can barely walk’ Shock as gran who is in pain 24 hours a day ruled fit for work only weeks after suffering a stroke
Pauline Pike has battled cancer, uses a nebuliser to help her breathe and has just suffered her second stroke – but hardhearted benefits bosses have ordered her to find a job.
A shocked gran who battled cancer and suffers chronic breathing problems has been told she’s fit for work – just weeks after having a stroke.
Pauline Pike has a history of health problems stretching back more than 30 years including cancer, diverticulitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder and asthma.
She has also had a kidney removed and suffered her second stroke six weeks ago.
Yet hardhearted benefits bosses have just told her they’re taking away her benefitpayments and ordered her to find a job.
Pauline, 59, who has to use a nebuliser to help her breathe, said: “I just got a call this week and I could not believe what I was hearing.
“I had been to a medical assessment a few weeks back and they found me to be fit for work.
“When I was forced to go for the medical, that was the first time I had been out the house in ages.
“I went along and I felt as if the woman was putting words into my mouth.
“She was asking if I could walk around the shops if I was with my husband and whether I could use my arms.
“I felt harassed and as if she had made her mind up before I was even finished.
“I was shocked to be told I was fit to work and flabbergasted when they then rang me and told me my benefits would stop next month and I would need to get a job.
“Who is going to take me on? I can’t breathe and can barely walk about the place. It’s not right to
put me through all this especially when I am trying to recover from my second stroke six weeks ago.”
After the test in Kirkcaldy , the Department of Work and Pensions told Pauline that her income support and severe disability allowance will end on August 17.
Pauline suffered her first stroke at the age of 36. She said: “I am still suffering. I am in pain 24 hours a day.
They don’t care. I am just a number to them. I’ve been on morphine for at least five years and yet I am expected to just go out and get a job.
“I have never heard anything so ridiculous. I have asthma and have to use a nebuliser several times a day just to breathe.
“I have COPD which restricts my airways and I had cancer, which led to my kidney being removed.
“I don’t care what they do to me, I am just not going to play along.
“There’s no way I can work – I can barely walk. There always has to be someone with me, either my husband or my daughter.
“When I first went in, the doctor was okay but she was asking me to do things like moving my arms and I could hardly do even half of it.
“I have high blood pressure and this is making it go through the roof. I can’t believe they are putting me and my family through all this.
“It is an utter scandal – the way the Government are treating people is a disgrace.”
Last month, campaigners called on the UK Government to end humiliating benefit assessments after a disabled woman was forced to crawl up stairs to attend one.
Maria Quinn, who is partially sighted and walks with the aid of a wheeled frame, said she felt “panicked” after finding there was no other access.
With her solicitor carrying her mobility aid and her sister holding her breathing equipment, Maria, 32, managed to enter the disability benefits centre on Glasgow’s Cadogan Street by “crawling up the two split-level stairs”.
She said she was refused the portable ramp which can cover the entrance stairs as it was intended for wheelchairs only – and if she had returned to her flat to collect her chair, she would have been late and missed the appointment.
Disability charity Scope said her case highlighted the difficulties disabled people face in trying to attend assessments, and called for an overhaul of the system.
A DWP spokesman said: “The decision on whether someone is well enough to work is taken after an independent assessment, including all available evidence provided from the claimant’s GP or medical specialist.
“Anyone who disagrees with the outcome of their assessment can appeal.” source
Why don’t the DWP say: anyone that wants to claim any benefits have to go through the appeal courts first?