A WOMAN who is unable to claim disability allowance despite her chronic and debilitating fatigue has taken her fight to Westminster.
Charis McMaster suffers from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and she has been ruled fit to work by a benefits assessment despite conclusive medical proof of her ill health. Her benefits have been stopped and and she is appealing her case for Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
She is likely to be transferred to the Universal Credits system and would lose out significantly on the financial help she will receive. Charis has employed the help of Matt Rodda, MP for Reading East, who has agreed to support her fight to overturn the decision.
Mr Rodda said: “It was extremely brave of Charis to agree to speak about her experiences with the government benefit assessment system and her tribunal experience with such openness, resilience and determination in spite of what she has endured.
“I find it appalling that people are often assessed by government agencies employing so-called ‘healthcare professionals’ who are not even qualified in the medical area in which they are conducting these fitness to work assessments.
“This is a chronic condition which prevents Charis from being able to work, although the cruel and prescriptive way in which she has been assessed has meant that she has been deemed as fit to seek employment.
“As her MP I shall be supporting her throughout this ongoing process to help ensure that she receives the support and financial assistance through the correct benefits which she is rightly entitled to.”
Miss McMaster’s condition affects an estimated quarter of a million people in the UK, making it hard for her body to recover from exerting small amounts of energy.
She agreed to share her story and be filmed for a BBC documentary ‘Inside Out’ which is due to air in the Spring. PIP is the new version of the former Disability Living Allowance and is designed to provide extra help for people living with long-term health problems.