After Vince Rodger innocently missed an interview at the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) for his severely disabled wife Julie, he was told that she would have her benefits completely removed.
Though Mr Rodger appealed the decision, the DWP decided that their original decision was correct, and that Julie must find work.
There is one huge issue with the DWP’s decision: Julie suffered hypoxic brain damage and as a result is tetraplegic.
She is unable to do anything for herself.
Mr Rodger took to social media to expose the shocking decision, explaining the situation in a Facebook post:
To all who know me and know my wife Julie, the Government have in their wisdom taken Julie off her employment and support allowance due to an oversight on my behalf and now has been given her P45 to start looking for a job/work.
Julie is a tetraplegic due to hypoxic brain damage and can’t do anything for herself. Julie will be attending the Jobcentre on Monday morning after the miracle worker has been and rid her of her disabilities.
For some who are wondering what my oversight was it is as follows: I received the letter asking for Julie to attend an interview. I put that letter in a safe place and on the morning of the interview I forgot all about it, I received a letter to explain why she didn’t attend, so I told the truth and said that I had forgotten, they sent out a reply stating that they were not accepting my reason and removed Julie from her benefit, I appealed for the decision to be changed and a new interview to take place, yesterday I received there reply that they were sticking to the original decision and removed Julie’s benefits.
The post had, at the time of publishing, been shared over 23k times and this number continues to rise.
Mr Rodger accepts that this issue began after he forgot about the original appointment for his wife. However, he is only human and mistakes happen to all of us – something the robotic DWP seem to allow nothing for.
After Mr Rodger had explained his mistake, it is hard to fathom how the appeal could be rejected.
Following the attention on social media, it is safe to assume that the DWP will have a monotonous statement handy to dish out soon. Though Julie’s benefits will surely be reinstated, they should have never been stopped in the first place.
2016 figures showed ‘that more than half of disabled people who appealed their “fit to work” assessment eventually got the decision overturned’. This clearly suggests that the DWP’s decisions are widely incorrect.
Though those who are cut off may eventually get the benefits they are rightly entitled to back, what about the time where these people are left cut off from money, support systems and are ordered to get a job? These mindless decisions can have a devastating impact.
In April, a mother jumped in front of a train after asking:
“What have I got to do? Top myself to get help for my son?”
Her severely autistic son had been completely stripped of his benefits support system.
In another case, Jodey Whiting killed herself after her benefits were cut off for missing just one appointment. Her family wholeheartedly believe that the DWP were the trigger that led to Jodey’s suicide.
There is something very wrong with the way the DWP functions. These endless mistakes that put people through weeks, sometimes months, of torment, must stop.
The deaths and suicides that are a direct result of the DWP’s actions should be enough to tell the government that changes need to be made immediately, however they continue to happen.
The lives of those left behind continue to be torn apart and thousands of others continue to live in misery.
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