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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