Disabled Bermondsey mum to have car taken off her as part of new benefits assessments

News Desk (21 January, 2016)

"How will I get my kids to school?"

7455Jessica Lucas and her car

by Samar Maguire

A disabled Bermondsey mum fears she will not be able to take her young children to school after the government takes away funding for her car next week, under new benefits rules.

Jessica Lucas, 35, of Buttermere Close, has been suffering from severe health problems for ten years, using the car for the last three years to take her two children aged five and nine to school.

The government’s new scheme meant that Jessica had to prove she was unable to walk further than 20 metres to ensure her eligibility for the vehicle.

She managed the distance but the journey to school is more than a mile away.

Her only form of transport is the car funded by the working-age Disability Living Allowance (DLA) which was replaced by Personal Independence Payments  (PIP) in 2013. In March last year, figures confirmed that PIP would see as many as 180,000 DLA claimants lose their cars after reassessment.

“Why am I being punished for having a disability? It’s disgusting,” said Jessica. “I’m in constant pain every day of my life. The only dignity I have left as a 35-year-old woman is my car.”

Jessica has been suffering with lupus, osteoarthritis of the spine, degenerative disc disease and has a herniated disc among other medical conditions.

“How will my kids get to school?” she said. “I’m not working and I can’t afford the cab.

“What do they expect? My children walking through Burgess Park? I’d never let them in this world today. You hear so much about children being stabbed or taken.

“I can’t do other things that other mums do which is heart-breaking enough as it is.”

Jessica now won't be able to drive her children to school

Jessica now won’t be able to drive her children to school

Neil Coyle MP for Bermondsey & Old Southwark believes the government lack a long-term vision.

“Unfortunately, repo man is going to be very busy targeting isolated, vulnerable and disadvantaged disabled people like this lady,” he said.

“The general public want those who genuinely need support to have it, but unfortunately the system that the government is using is totally insensitive to genuine needs.

“If this woman now has to claim new costs from the council because this person or others can’t attend medical appointments because they haven’t got transport, it’s going to cost the NHS.

“It’s very short term thinking and ineffective in trying to save money.”

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesperson said: “Decisions for PIP are made following a face-to-face assessment with medical professionals and consideration of all the evidence provided by the claimant, including the claimant’s GP.

“We are working closely with Motability who are providing support to people leaving the scheme following reassessment. The majority of people will be eligible for a one-off payment of £2000, which will help ensure their mobility needs continue to be met.”

Jessica is set to lose her car next week

Jessica is set to lose her car next week

Samuel Miller says:

Up to 200 disabled people every week are losing their Motability vehicles, their jobs and independence, after being assessed for the government’s new disability benefit, Personal Independence Payment (PIP), yet there has been scant attention paid to their predicament by the mainstream British media.

Source: http://www.welfareweekly.com/welfare-cuts-two-hundred-disabled-people-lose-motability-car-each-week/

The Cameron government is under investigation by the UN for alleged “grave and systematic violations” of the human rights of persons with disabilities.

Full disclosure: Since January 2012, I have been reporting voluntarily to the UN’s human rights office, in Geneva, on the welfare crisis for Britain’s sick and disabled. [Fellow Canadian Leilani Farha (@leilanifarha) is the UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing; see http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Housing/Pages/LeilaniFarha.aspx. You can
tweet her on UK housing issues or e-mail her at the UN’s human rights
office: srhousing@ohchr.org; she does follow my Twitter account.]

(Montreal, Canada)

Sir Sigh-A-Lot says:

She was well enough to push out a kid during her 10 years of “severe health problems” so i can’t be sympathetic.

LadyWriter 1968 says:

The government take away disabled peoples money yet they pay 350 million a week to stay in the EU. What a joke.

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