Denise Haddon [Image: Denise Haddon].

Denise Haddon [Image: Denise Haddon].


What a catalogue of excuses the Department for Work and Pensions lined up in the case of Denise Haddon!

The standout line for This Writer (having seen it many times myself) was that the original decision to downgrade her benefits was “based on all available evidence at the time”.

The implication is that the relevant part of the evidence, that showed why Ms Haddon needed her benefit and her car, was not presented to the original assessor.

But this has to be rubbish. She has bilateral femoral focal dysplasia, a condition well-known to medicine, and it is impossible to believe that the DWP wasn’t fully aware of its symptoms and effects.

Ah, but the DWP insisted that the assessment had been carried out “correctly”… right up until the same organisation tried to excuse itself by saying the decision was taken by a “trainee disability assessor”.

Was it? Was it really?

Call me jaded, but after more than four years of writing about disability, long-term illness and the DWP – and many more dealing with the Department in the case of Mrs Mike, This Writer isn’t accepting a word of it.

A disabled woman who had the car that allows her to do her job taken away after a “degrading” capability assessment, has had the decision overturned on appeal.

A tribunal took just 10 minutes to decide Denise Haddon, who cannot walk more than 20 metres without severe pain, should never have had her benefits downgraded.

She was given less than a month’s notice that the vehicle that gives her independence would be taken away after an assessment for Personal Independence Payments (PIP), introduced by Iain Duncan Smith.

The decision was taken by a ‘trainee disability assessor.’

The Department for Work and Pensions said [in December that] the assessment had been carried out “correctly”, and insisted she no longer qualified for Motability assistance to pay for the car.

And even though the decision was thrown out ‘indefinitely’ by a judge, a solicitor and a doctor last month, they insist the original assessment was made “based on all available evidence at the time.”

When asked if they still believed Denise’s assessment had been carried out correctly, they refused to answer.

Denise, who has worked since she was 16, was born with a condition called bilateral femoral focal dysplasia and reached her full height of 3ft 8 inches when she was a teenager.

The condition causes her painful problems with the lower part of her body, her hips, legs, ankles and feet.

She was told just before Christmas that her benefits would be downgraded, which deprived her of the supplementary payment that paid for the car.

She says the person who assessed her had no understanding of her condition.

Source: Disabled woman has essential benefit reinstated after ‘degrading’ assessment by trainee overturned – Mirror Online

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