Disabled man ‘on breadline’ after being told to pay towards carers

Howard Dagg, 44, from East Preston, and his carer Jonathan Bulezuik. Picture: Derek Martin
Howard Dagg, 44, from East Preston, and his carer Jonathan Bulezuik. Picture: Derek Martin

A disabled man said he is ‘on the breadline’ after being told by the county council to pay towards his care.

Howard Dagg, 44, of Coach House Close, East Preston, has to pay £41 a week towards three carers who visit him three times a day because he has spastic quadriplegia.

He said the decision meant he is sat in his wheelchair for 14 hours a day because he cannot afford an armchair.

It has also made it difficult to support his 17-year-old son Chandler through his games development course at Northbrook College and visit his 14-year-old daughter Lara in Crawley.

He said: “It’s so stressful. It is putting financial pressure on me and affecting my medical condition.

“I haven’t slept in weeks; it isn’t making life great. They are making me live on the breadline.”

Howard has been wheelchair-bound since 1998. Since quitting his job at an insurance company in Shoreham Airport five years ago due to declining health, he has relied on disability living allowance and employment support allowance totalling around £270 a week to live. He also receives other financial support to pay for his three carers, who visit three times a day.

But on October 12, West Sussex County Council told him he would have to pay £65 a week towards his care.

He appealed the decision, and on December 13, it was reduced to £41 a week.

The father-of-two was due to hear if the result of a second appeal was successful on Tuesday. He also criticised the county council for not explaining how the amount to pay was calculated.

A council spokesman said: “It would not be appropriate for us to discuss details about an individual’s care, but we have been working with this gentleman for a period of time and the issues he has raised with us have been resolved.”

However, when the Gazette contacted Howard about this statement on Tuesday, he had still not heard the result of his appeal.

He said: “Nobody can give me an answer; I feel like I’m going around in circles.”