THE benefits system is designed to help those who need it most.
Whether it means support for people made redundant or those who suffer prolonged illness and cannot work.
For many, experience of the benefits system will be limited to claiming child tax credits. But for others who rely on it during difficult times, it seems there’s a barrier or two to climb over.
For John Bower and wife Jayne their experience of the benefits system is one of negativity and despair.
Their nightmare began last October when John was rushed to hospital after returning home from work.
A bruise on his leg swelled and he was diagnosed with meningitis, septicaemia and gangrene. Weeks later both of his legs were amputated below the knee which meant he was unable to work.
The experience must have been horrendous, not only for John but also for Jayne seeing her husband almost die.
In February the couple applied for benefits but since then they’ve faced red-tape over John’s Disability Living Allowance claim.
Despite being given medical details from John’s doctor, the Department of Work and Pensions have sent letters asking if the amputee could walk, how far he could walk and if it was true that he had prosthetic legs.
It seems the DWP still can’t decide if a man who tragically lost both legs is in fact disabled.
While it is right the DWP should properly investigate benefit claimants, surely all can see it is unfair to leave someone without any source of income for such a long time.