A disabled man with multiple sclerosis says he will be forced to quit his job because of Tory changes to disability benefits, it has been reported today.
David Trotter, who needs crutches to be able to walk, has been told his disability benefits will be slashed by more than £200 a month, meaning he will now lose the car he needs to travel to his place of work 15 miles away.
Mr Trotter lost his “enhanced mobility” payment of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) after being assessed for the new Personal Independence Payment (PIP), which is replacing DLA for all adult claimants.
It means that Mr Trotter will now have to hand over of his mobility car, which is directly financed through the benefits he receives.
But the 32-year-old disabled worker from Dalkeith, Midlothian, says he depends on his car to be able to get to work and has no other way of travelling to his job in Livingston.
Officials from the Department of Work and Pensions claim he is ‘fit enough to get a bus’, even though Mr Trotter says that he can only walk “10 steps before the pain kicks in”.
Mr Trotter says he was asked by a PIP assessor “how far I could walk without any pain”, to which he replied: “I told her that it was 10 steps before the pain kicks in, even on a good day.
“That makes public transport inaccessible because of walking to and from the bus.
“But somehow their verdict says I can walk between 20 and 50 metres”, he told the Daily Record.
He now intends to appeal the decision, but could have to wait nine weeks before an outcome is reached.
“At that point, I will have no way of getting he work”, he said, because his car would already have been taken away.
Mr Trotter added: “I will sadly need to leave my job as it is 15 miles away and can only be reached via a combination of buses and trains.
“Knowing how quickly my body gets tired when I attempted these kinds of journey in the past, I would be unable to focus on work due to the pain.”
Morna Simpkins, Director of MS Society Scotland, said: “Cutting mobility benefits seems completely contradictory to the Government’s commitment to halve the disability employment gap.”