DWP demands work fitness test on teen with mental age of five

141127Louise McDonaldTelegraphAndArgus

From the Telegraph and Argus:

THE mother of a severely-disabled Bradford teenager with a mental age of five is facing the prospect of a 12-month delay in receiving some of her benefits while an assessment is carried out to see if her daughter is fit to work.

Ellie McDonald, 19, of Leafield Grove, Eccleshill, is one of only 13 people in the world known to suffer from the rare genetic disorder Chromosome 7 Deletion.

She was born with a part of a chromosome missing and is living with one kidney, 70 per cent curvature of the spine and other conditions including a tethered spinal cord that has left her with bowel and bladder paralysis.

Her brain injury means she has to be sedated to sleep every night. She also cannot read or write.

Now she must undergo a medical assessment at home to prove she needs to receive the full amount of Employment Support Allowance from the Department of Work and Pensions – a decision condemned as “absurd” by one Bradford MP.

After she left Hazelbeck School, Bingley, in July this year, Ellie’s mother Louise McDonald applied for employment support allowance for Ellie after the teenager left Hazelbeack School, Bingley, in July this year.

She filled out a form saying her daughter was unfit to work and her GP has also sent a ‘sick note outlining the severity of her disability.

The family receives £310 every four weeks for disability living allowance and £141 every fortnight for employment support allowance.

The wait for an assessment to be carried out means Ellie’s parents are missing out on £200 a month in the employment payment.

Vox Political predicts that she will eventually be put in the Work-Related Activity Group, and will be told to ensure she is ready for work within 12 months after her assessment takes place.

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20 thoughts on “DWP demands work fitness test on teen with mental age of five

  1. joanna may

    every incident like this should be gathered up in detail and presented to both the coalition And every other party, and be read in it’s entirety and televised for the whole world to see!

  2. Jane Hume

    This makes me bloody sick, My 30 year old is severely mentally impaired, in effect she is a three year old in a woman’s body, she neither reads writes or speaks and has needed 24 hour care since she was born, fortunately she is fairly well off health wise, but I have not had a full nights sleep in thirty years, and on top of that my husband has cancer.DWP tried to send my girl for a work related assessment , I told my GP who completely lost the plot phoned them and tore the office into small bloody pieces before questioning them on their intelligence. Iain festering face don’t give a crap needs to try looking after someone this badly disabled, What does the pasty faced oversized smug twat know about disability ?.

  3. chopale

    These people who work for the public welfare! in every department! regarding the DWP HQ and JSA centres. what the f–k! is wrong with them! It seems! it is them that needs an assessment in social care and humanity! This F–king Government is forcing the public workers against the public themselves. For the sake of Humanity! Stand up and be counted and show some remorse and backbone! instead of hiding behind Computers!

  4. wildswimmerpete

    Remember, according to Atos, that unfortunate young lady could recover from her condition. Would Maximus do better? Looking through my window I haven’t seen the 633 Porcine Squadron flapping past…..Yet.

  5. paulrutherford8

    The ‘Transition’ process from special-needs child to disabled adult is something that needs urgent review.

    We are writing up a personal report for an opposition shadow person, based on the experience of some of Warren’s similarly disabled friends and the process as it stands.

    Two of them had home visits as the family above. I believe the DWP person had to leave one house iin a bit of a hurry. As far as I know that family receive no money for their son as a result. Warren will have to face this in another 3-4 years.

    This is another reason we desperately need Labour to get in next year as they will definitely address issues like this. Kids like Ellie and Warren are born with these conditions and will never, ever change: they are genetically programmed to be as they are.

    Ellie, like Warren has a very rare condition, so there is little, if any, information about what her future will hold.

    One thing is 100% certain: she will *never* be able to work.

    I’m shaking with fury just now. Sue has walked out into the garden, swearing at IDS: she’s so angry.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I used to get like that at the way they treated Mrs Mike; it’s quite hard but for your own sake you need to find a mental level above that, where you can look down on your own emotional reaction and tell yourself, “I can use that against them”. It’s very important to be able to continue functioning rationally because they want you rattled – people who lash out very rarely hit the target they want.

      But I’m probably preaching to the gallery. Hopefully there are others going through the same emotional journey who will benefit from this advice.

      1. paulrutherford8

        You’re right Mike… I get angry initially then tend to go ‘ice-cold’ and calm like you suggest. But Sue gets much more emotional and generally shoots me down when she’s angry like this!! 😀

        As you say, It *is* important to ‘rise above’, do your homework too, and get to know as much as possible about the subject of the moment. That way the ‘opposition’ tend to get rattled instead.

        Covert recording is also an idea often suggested. Not that I would suggest such a thing of course.

    2. saschagabriel

      No point sending it to the ‘shadow’ anyone, this stuff was happening long before this latest lot of *****s took over. ATOS is not a Tory invention. And Reeves had said right out there will be no change to the ‘reforms’ should Labour get in in 2015 (yes, Ed had now said he’ll scrap the bedroom tax but is VERY quiet about the cases like this that happened under Labour and the ones that have been happening since they left office.) AI (Amnesty) have already said ATOS’ directives are in contravention of human rights.

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        Why do I keep having to have this conversation about Atos and Labour? For the record – YET AGAIN – Atos is not a Labour invention either. It took over a contract that had been awarded to another company by the Tories, because it took over the other company. Yes, Labour did re-award the contract to Atos – and this was in 2005 or thereabouts, before ESA was introduced – because there was no reason not to.
        Nobody here wants Atos back behind the scenes of public services, but you should bear in mind that the company was just carrying out orders from the Tory-led Coalition government. This is why Maximus aren’t likely to perform any better.
        As for changes to the legislation in the Welfare Reform Act, Labour has said it cannot promise to reverse everything the Coalition has done because the national finances will have to be scrutinised first. Balls needs to know if there’s any spare money before Reeves can have any. On the face of it, it’s looking bad because the current Coalition government is so godawfully inept that it has even screwed up its plan to make savings, meaning its cuts have actually cost us more public money than if they had left well alone! BUT – by the same token – this tends to indicate that a careful dismantling of the hugely expensive mess left by Iain Duncan Smith, and replacement with an alternative system, could be supported on the grounds that it would stop #ToryWelfareWaste and save lives.
        Hmm… There’s an article in there somewhere.

      2. paulrutherford8

        Apologies for not returning to read any replies sooner. I should have ticked the follow-up comments box.

        Sascha, firstly, I fully agree with what Mike has said about ATOS, etc.

        Secondly, there is every point in writing and sending a report to the ‘shadow’ person: especially when they have asked to come and visit you, to discuss the very issues [amongst others], as have been highlighted in this post, on a sort of ‘fact-finding’ excercise where many of the issues can be found in one household, and have asked for it.

        We did not have to accept the request from Rachel Reeves to come and visit, and the fact that she stayed for well over an hour longer than scheduled must say something. There is a genuine desire amongst Labour [I am now convinced], to make positive changes to benefit the lives of people such as ourselves, Ellie’s family and the thousands of people who have been hurt by the ruthlessness of this unelected coalition.

        If, hopefully, Labour do get in, I think it will be their last term in office if they don’t follow through on their commitments. I suspect that in a lot of ways, Labour politicians are waking up to the fact that times have changed dramatically in recent years and especially in terms of communication, via blogs such as this [excellent], one, social media, etc. They must keep their promises; perhaps we *do* have some power after all?

        Rachel Reeves has, since that visit, stated publically that she wants to make life more ‘dignified’ for sick & disabled people.

        There is *always* a *point* in sending comment, opinion, information, experience, whatever, to people in positions of ‘power’, whoever they may be.

        It is when the majority give up and believe there is no *point* that the real suffering will begin… The likes of the Tories *need* and want people to give up and say ‘there’s no point’.

        I for one will never lie down. There is *always* a point. In fact, if there really was ‘no point’, I doubt we’d be commenting on Mike’s blog. It wouldn’t exist because he wouldn’t see the *point*.

        And, as the shadow person knows, visiting us could easily be a double edged sword.

        Cheers 😉

      3. Mike Sivier Post author

        I might use the last few paragraphs of this in an infographic, unless you have any objections, Paul.

  6. saschagabriel

    Mike I’m all for a system that’s actually fair, one that has the flexibility to actually consider the needs of the applicant. I’d love it. I was ‘cured’ of illnesses that cannot be cured in 2008, three appeals later, nope, I’m still perfectly well, they say, I suddenly scored zero too. There’s more but I’m not about to go into my conditions here. My previous neighbour used to get full DLA for being an alcoholic. I don’t see how that system makes any sense at all. But I do not trust ANY party to be actually socialist and implement appropriate social policy in England, there is no socialist party here.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      … in your opinion. Other commenters may disagree.
      I certainly do agree with you that the current system makes very little sense. I don’t know enough about its history to be able to say whether it fell into incoherence or has always been random, but it definitely needs reform.

      1. saschagabriel

        They’re more than welcome to disagree but they did not go through what I went through due to having him as a neighbour. I still have PTSD because of it. (But of course I don’t, I’m perfectly well :/ )

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        I meant your opinion about whether there is or isn’t a socialist party in England. What about the rest of the UK, by the way?

  7. casalealex

    Reposted from the Daily Mail on line

    Ellie McDonald cannot eat or walk alone due to a rare genetic disorder
    Her mother applied for support ahead of her finishing special school
    But she was shocked to be told the teenager would have to undergo test
    They feared she’ll miss out on help in the months she now has to wait
    Following outrage the DWP now say Ellie does not have to take the test .

    Disgustingly unnecessary that the family had to suffer this trauma due to the incompetency and wilful discrimination of the DWP!

Comments are closed.