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Disabled lad told to prove he can't work to get incapacity benefits 20120921

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Disabled lad told to prove he can't work to get incapacity benefits 20120921 Powered By Docstoc
					http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4550210/Disabled-lad-told-to-prove-he-cant-work-to-get-incapacity-
benefits.html




Disabled lad told to prove he can't work to
get incapacity benefits
Dad disgusted at son's treatment

                                                                  By BELLA BATTLE
                                                                  Published: 21st September 2012



                                                                  A DAD was disgusted after his
                                                                  severely disabled son was told to
                                                                  prove he couldn’t work - in order
                                                                  to receive benefits.


                                                                  Liam Barker has been on life support
                                                                  since he was born paralysed.

                                                                  Liam, who was not expected to live past
                                                                  three months, defied his prognosis and
                                                                  celebrated his 18th birthday in
                                                                  December last year, despite being born
                                                                  with a rare and terminal muscle-wasting
                                                                  disease.

                                                                  He needs a ventilator to breathe and
                                                                  constant care from his parents Phil, 52,
                                                                  and Michelle Barker, 44,

                                                                  Two weeks ago, Mrs Barker, who also
                                                                  has daughter Britney, 12, discovered
                                                                  that Liam‟s child benefit payments had
                                                                  been stopped.
The family, from Linthorpe, Middlesbrough, were shocked to receive a letter telling them Liam would be
entitled to employment and support allowance but that he may need to attend a „WorkFocus interview‟ to
receive them.

Mr Barker said: “I discovered the letter last week. We‟d been on a week‟s respite and it was there when we
got back.

“My wife looked at her bank account two weeks ago and found that Liam‟s child benefits had been stopped.

“This letter said that instead he could get employment support, but that he might have to attend an
interview to prove he couldn‟t work.
“I rang Stockton Benefit Centre and a woman on the phone asked me: 'Can he work?'

“I tried to explain his medical condition and she just said: „It‟s a yes or no answer, it‟s a standard issue
form.‟”




“I said my son couldn‟t work. She said he may need an interview and medical assessment.

“I explained there was no way he could come to an interview because the only appointments he has are at
the hospital - Liam can blink and that‟s it.

“We‟re still waiting on news on what we‟re supposed to do now.

“I don‟t think they really understand the situation and if they‟d just looked into his National Insurance
number or looked into his records properly they would realise he can‟t work.”

The Department of Work and Pensions says candidates found to be incapable of work receive long-term
support.

A spokesman for the DWP said: “Often as a child gets older their needs change over time.

“The Work Capability Assessment looks at what a person can do, not only on what they cannot.

“If someone is not capable of any work, then they will of course get long-term incapacity support through
the benefits system.”

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: A DAD was disgusted after his severely disabled son was told to prove he couldn’t work - in order to receive benefits. Liam Barker has been on life support since he was born paralysed. He needs a ventilator to breathe and constant care from his parents Phil, 52, and Michelle Barker, 44.