January 31, 2018
Lorna Taylor, who suffers from an aggressive form of multiple sclerosis (MS), has been denied disability benefits despite being unable to walk unaided or even cook for herself. Her condition is so severe, she relies on the full-time care provided by her partner, Eddie.
It was in June 2016 that the 25-year-old woke up to find her legs had gone numb. The numbness then began to spread to other parts of her body and, over the next month, she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of MS.
I can’t even go outdoors on my own without my mum or my partner in case I fall.
After the diagnosis, Lorna was forced to give up work and was reliant on her sick pay. As her conditioned worsened, she was unable to bathe, dress or even read on her own. It was at this point she applied for Personal Independence Payment (PIP). Lorna had hoped that the payments of around £140 per week would ease the tension of paying bills, which she struggled to afford after being forced out of employment, but the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) refused her request.
Lorna recalled the letter’s content, which read: “You said you have difficulty moving around. I decided you can stand and then move more than 200 metres. I decided that you can prepare and cook a simple meal unaided, eat and drink unaided, wash and bathe unaided, manage your toilet needs, dress and undress unaided.”
When describing how she felt upon reading the letter, Lorna said: “I was crying but I was also angry. They say I can prepare a meal but when I tried to prepare a meal, things got dropped and smashed and I burnt myself.
“This would make a lot of difference to me because I wouldn’t have to worry constantly about how I’m going to pay the bills. It’s (the DWP assessment) rubbish. I can’t even go outdoors on my own without my mum or my partner in case I fall. They say it was decided because I can walk into a room and find a seat – did they want me to crawl in and find a seat?”
Lorna plans to appeal the decision and supply additional information as requested.