Disabled Littlehampton man’s fury after his benefits are cut

WH 151214  Disabled man Jon Ball, has lost his benefits, despite being a wheelchair user and suffering from a debilitating condition. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-141215-214150001
WH 151214 Disabled man Jon Ball, has lost his benefits, despite being a wheelchair user and suffering from a debilitating condition. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-141215-214150001
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A WHEELCHAIR-BOUND man from Littlehampton has been left ‘devastated’ after the Government axed his disability allowances just days before Christmas.

Jon Ball, of The Cape, has suffered from Klinefelter’s syndrome all his life. It’s a condition which has left him in constant pain and in need of heavy doses of medication.

However, this month, the Department for Works and Pensions (DWP), which provides his incapacity benefit and disability allowance, said he was no longer eligible for support

Jon, 59, said: “When that news came through, it was devastating to say the least.

“It’s something that didn’t make any sense to me. I was still in a wheelchair and couldn’t do anything about it.

“Apparently, I’m fit for work, which is a total joke.”

Mr Ball is currently unemployed due to his illness. However, he had previously worked as a delivery driver and car valet among other jobs. He explained that due to his condition, he was forced to take dozens of pain relief and muscle relaxant tablets a day just to get by.

However, he tries to live as independently as possible.

“I have had the condition all my life but it only came to a head in 1990 when I became paraplegic,” he said. “That put me in a wheelchair.

“The condition means I have constant pain in my legs, back, joints muscles and skin.

“Imagine when you are hit and given a numb leg. Well, the pain that comes in after that is what I have 24-7.

“If I’m not in bed, I have to crawl upstairs to it. So I’m normally just sat in my wheelchair.”

In July, Mr Ball took part in an assessment test at Atos Healthcare, in Brighton, to see whether he still qualified for his allowances.

However, after months of waiting, the news was broken to him earlier this month that he would be losing his £600 per month support.

He said: “The impact on me is massive. I’m trying to run a house but I can’t because I have no money coming in and my last payment was today (Friday).”

A spokesman from the DWP stood by the move and explained the decision on whether someone was well enough to work was taken following a ‘thorough independent assessment’, and ‘after consideration of all the supporting medical evidence ‘ of a GP or a medical specialist.

“The work capability assessment is designed to look at what someone can do with the right support - rather than just writing people off on sickness benefits as happened in the past,” he said.

“Everyone is entitled to request a reconsideration on a decision made on their claim.

“However, Mr Ball has not asked us to do this.”