A severely disabled man who is unable to speak or read has been ordered by authorities to prove he is unfit to work.
Stuart Chester, 25, suffers from Down’s syndrome, epilepsy and autism and is unable to wash or feed himself and lives with his mum and full time carer Deborah McKenzie, 51, in Glasgow.
He currently receives Disability Living Allowance (DLA), and Employment Support Allowance (ESA), and had previously been told he would continue to get benefits for the rest of his life because there is no chance of his condition improving.
However, all of that appeared to change when he was then sent a detailed 20-page work capability assessment – and ordered to complete it and return it to DWP bosses by September 18.
His mum said: “I cannot understand why Stuart was sent this capability for work questionnaire because he cannot talk, read or write or do anything for himself.
There is no way he could work and this is just causing a lot of undue stress and anxiety.
“I am his full-time carer and there is no way my son could work – no chance. He needs 24/7 care and cannot feed or wash himself, and he has a lot of accidents toilet-wise.I have to do everything for him.
“I was really upset when the form came through the door. I called up the DWP and asked them why they would send it out to someone like my son when he is supposed to get DLA for life and they told me it was tough luck, that it’s just the way it is and I would just need to fill out the form for him just like everyone else.”
In August, more than 80 people died each month following work capability assessments.
Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil MSP accused the DWP of bullying and harassment.
He said: “This is absolutely outrageous and these are the kind of cases which highlight that the Tories are out of control and they must hand over running of our benefits system to the Scottish government.
“If someone is clearly unable to work and has a lifelong condition they should not be hounded like this and they should be left alone, not put through the hell of being assessed for work and worrying about whether or not they will get their benefits when they are quite clearly entitled to them.”
The DWP however has defended their position and in a statement, added: “Decisions are taken following a thorough independent assessment, and consideration of supporting medical evidence provided to us by a claimant’s GP or medical specialist.”
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