Clifton Quinn’s bone’s are so brittle he can’t even walk to the bus stop – but he could be about to lose his only means of transport
A Cambridge man with crippling osteoporosis says the Government is taking away his mobility scooter. Former delivery-driver Clifton Quinn, 57, of St Bede’s Cresent, claims he has been deemed ineligible for the vehicle after he underwent a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessment on January 12.
Clifton, who is registered disabled and relies on a full-time carer, suffers from severe osteoporosis, spinal degeneration and pancreatic problems which severely inhibit his mobility.
‘They said I didn’t get enough points’
He says he is terrified he will be made housebound if his payments are slashed from the higher rate of £55 a week to £22, as he struggles to even walk to the bustop.
Last Friday (February 2) the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) told him he was two points short of the higher rate needed to qualify for the free use of a mobility scooter, which he is unable to otherwise afford.
He told the News: “I received a letter saying I was not eligible for the higher rate of PIP. They said I didn’t get enough points on my PIP assessment. I have previously been on Disability Living Allowance since 2014.
“Last Friday I got a call from the scooter hire company and they said they would have to have my mobility scooter back on April 20. They said I need to appeal to keep it. “I have severe osteoporosis and spinal porblems. I’ve fragile bones and a profoundly depressed lumber spine – my bones are distintegrating.
“I need to have my feet on the ground at all times. I could understand them taking cars away, but taking mobility scooters is disgusting.” He was awarded 10 points for his mobility problems by Government contractor Atos, who provide PIP assessments on behalf on the DWP – two short of those he needed for the higher claim.
This means his Atos assessor deemed him able to walk unaided for 20 metres. During the assessment Clifton claims he was seated for nearly an hour before being told to stand so the assessor could check the strength of his hands and legs.
He also claims the assessor failed to acknowledge his medical assessments from his GP or registered disability. “When I had my assessment she didn’t take any notice of my blue badge. “She felt my hands and told me to turn around to look at my legs and said she would let me know the results in a month. I told her I was in pain and had to sit down.”
Clifton says he used to work as a delivery driver until 2006, when he found out he had severe osteoporosis. Coupled with the onset of pancreatic problems he was finally forced to give up work in 2010 because his condition became so debilitating.
Since his diagnosis he says he strives to take better care of his health, and having the scooter has been a real lifeline for him. Without it he would have no independence. “My health is so bad I can’t use public transport because as soon as I am on my feet I am in agony,” he said. “This morning I tried to walk to the bus stop to see how far I could walk and I just can’t. I was in too much pain, I had to go home.
“I need a walking stick with a seat on it. When I am at home I either sit up in bed or on a chair. I can’t do anything physically. I even get all my medicine delivered.”He is terrified he will lose his appeal to keep the scooter, and has been left feeling dehumanised by the PIP assessment process. He added: “I am frighted I won’t be able to go out. I am being treated as if there is nothing wrong with me.”
What the DWP had to say
Under the PIP rules, applicants are able to provide further evidence if they deem they have been unfairly assessed. During the assessment process applicants first undergo an initial review where health professionals consider all supporting evidence supplied.
Applicants also have the right to appeal decisions. [NO SH*T SHERLOCK]
A spokeswoman for the DWP confirmed that Mr Clifton has requested a review of his case. She said: “Decisions for PIP are made following consideration of all the information provided by the claimant. Anyone who is unhappy with a decision can appeal, and may submit additional evidence.
“Most people leaving the motability scheme are eligible for a one-off payment of up to £2,000 to help meet their needs.” [BIG DEAL]
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