Alan Goff, 57, has now had his PIP benefits restored following a six month gap – one day after his case was raised at Prime Minister’s Questions.
The Department for Work and Pensions has apologised to a man with incurable cancer after stopping his disability benefits. Alan Goff’s payments have now been reinstated and backdated following a six-month gap – one day after his shocking case was raised at Prime Minister’s Questions.
Mr Goff’s case was raised anonymously in the House of Commons and he later came forward. MPs heard the 57-year-old from Eltham, south east London, was so short “short of money” he was unable to attend most daily appointments.
Mr Goff’s MP Clive Efford begged ministers to “stop this injustice” as a fellow Labour MP, Paula Sherriff, shouted: “How do you sleep at night?” Mr Goff lost his Personal Independence Payment (PIP), which was worth £148.85 a week to help with costs of his disability, in December last year.
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The former carpenter returned from honeymoon with his wife Linda in 2016 with blurred vision and was diagnosed with the blood cancer multiple myeloma. At the time his benefits were stopped, he had gone into remission but was still receiving treatment, he said.
He claimed the DWP put him down as “fully capable to do everything” despite his doctor saying he should avoid public transport due to a weak immune system. Despite protesting Mr Goff later lost an internal appeal against the DWP. In February, he was told his cancer had relapsed and was incurable.
Today the DWP reversed the decision over Mr Goff – handing him PIP benefits dating back to December.
A spokesperson said: “Our thoughts are with Mr Goff at this difficult time and we have apologised for the distress caused. DWP TRANSLATION: here’s another benefit we were shamed into restoring! “We have reinstated his PIP and will backdate the payments.”
Mr Goff slammed the DWP for restoring his benefits only following an outcry. He told the Mirror: “I’m grateful that they have done it because that’s how it should be. I’m not grateful for the reasons they have done it through adverse publicity.
“We’re lucky, we got it sorted out, But there’s other people out there in a much worse position. “The more it gets publicity the better. They have got to get it sorted.”
MP Clive Efford also blasted the DWP for only acting after public embarrassment.
Mr Efford told the Mirror: “They knew all this and they have had all this information so there is absolutely no excuse. “It shouldn’t take an MP to have to get up at Prime Minister’s Questions to get someone justice in cases like these. “They have given it back because they got bad publicity out of it. What about other cases? Every MP has similar cases.”
PIP helps pay for specially-adapted vehicles that are mostly provided through an organisation called Motability. But more than 75,000 people have had their cars taken away after losing out when they moved to PIP.
In many cases, people were forced to give up their adapted cars even though an appeal was still in process. MPs heard Mr Goff had been told his mobility car would be repossessed this week.
However, a DWP source insisted Mr Goff had already been told he could keep his car while his appeal was resolved.