Amputee forced to undergo 'degrading' fitness for work medical

Amputee forced to undergo 'degrading' fitness for work medical

Mark Evans with Denise Lonsdale

Mark Evans

First published in News
Last updated
The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

AN amputee who struggles to speak and cannot walk has been forced to undergo another “degrading” government medical to see if he is fit to work.

Mark Evans, aged 50, is forced to rely on a mobility scooter and has claimed some form of incapacity benefit since 1993, when he suffered brain damage because of a tumour.

His benefits were slashed in March when he was deemed fit to work following a Department for Work and Pensions capability assessment.

Mr Evans’ basic level of Employment Support Allowance (ESA) was cut from £760 to £320 a month, with £100 of his monthly earnings spent on his vital scooter.

He lost an appeal — held 127 miles away in Workington. He was unable to travel there because of his disabilities and the original decision was upheld in his absence.

Helped by the Unemployed Advice Centre in Deansgate, Mr Evans has since been forced to reapply for his original benefits, which have still not been reinstated in full.

After the lengthy application process, Mr Evans’ case has now been processed, but the amputee had to attend another fitness test at Lever Chambers Health Centre in Ashburner Street.

Denise Lonsdale, the volunteer manager of the Unemployed Advice Centre in Deansgate, where Mr Evans sought help after his benefits were cut earlier this year, said: “It’s a disgrace.

“Anyone who looked at Mark would agree that he is not fit for work.

“These medicals are totally humiliating and degrading and Mark has to lift his arms up and talk for a certain amount of time.

“He is very embarrassed and feels like his situation is being constantly belittled.”

Mr Evans had to have his leg amputated in 2004 after suffering deep vein thrombosis, compounding the brain injuries for which he had already claimed benefits for 11 years.


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Ms Lonsdale added: “Because his money has been stopped he’s got no money for gas and he needs to keep warm because of his amputation.”

At one stage, Mr Evans was given a crisis loan of £142 to pay his rent and bills, which he has to repay at £8 a week. A DWP spokesman said it was normal practice for people making a fresh application for ESA to undergo a medical, regardless of their specific conditions.

He added that existing claimants usually have capability checks every 12 months to ensure they are still unfit to work.

When Mr Evans was denied benefits for the first time in March, a DWP spokesman defended changes to the benefits system, arguing that too many people were previously condemned to a life out of work.

Comments (17)

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6:36am Thu 5 Dec 13

oftbewildered2 says...

so little thought has been given to the assessment process and common sense has flown out of the window. Surely there should be the ability to decide that a person's incapacity is not going to get better and put them on a lifetime track. I do not disagree with annual assessments for those whose incapacity might well improve over a period of time. I had problems for a couple of years, but happily was able to return to full time employment. I would not expect this to be the case for Mr Evans.
so little thought has been given to the assessment process and common sense has flown out of the window. Surely there should be the ability to decide that a person's incapacity is not going to get better and put them on a lifetime track. I do not disagree with annual assessments for those whose incapacity might well improve over a period of time. I had problems for a couple of years, but happily was able to return to full time employment. I would not expect this to be the case for Mr Evans. oftbewildered2
  • Score: 37

7:53am Thu 5 Dec 13

Beckifish89 says...

Maybe they want to assess the many alcoholics and druggies who are claiming benefits claiming to be disabled then they will find the number of claims decrease rapidly ! I know a few and to think there getting away with it while innocent people who need the benefits to survive honestly, really gets me angry !
Maybe they want to assess the many alcoholics and druggies who are claiming benefits claiming to be disabled then they will find the number of claims decrease rapidly ! I know a few and to think there getting away with it while innocent people who need the benefits to survive honestly, really gets me angry ! Beckifish89
  • Score: 35

9:22am Thu 5 Dec 13

Reed Lover says...

The system is what it is, so he hasn't got a leg to stand on.

Seriously though, his leg is never going to grow back and any brain damage he's suffered is unlikely to magically heal so why subject this poor man to annual check ups, it is degrading and mean-spirited.
The system is what it is, so he hasn't got a leg to stand on. Seriously though, his leg is never going to grow back and any brain damage he's suffered is unlikely to magically heal so why subject this poor man to annual check ups, it is degrading and mean-spirited. Reed Lover
  • Score: 37

9:30am Thu 5 Dec 13

oftbewildered2 says...

Beckifish89 wrote:
Maybe they want to assess the many alcoholics and druggies who are claiming benefits claiming to be disabled then they will find the number of claims decrease rapidly ! I know a few and to think there getting away with it while innocent people who need the benefits to survive honestly, really gets me angry !
they can assess addicts with pleasure - I am talking about those who obviously are never going to improve to such an extent where they can work
[quote][p][bold]Beckifish89[/bold] wrote: Maybe they want to assess the many alcoholics and druggies who are claiming benefits claiming to be disabled then they will find the number of claims decrease rapidly ! I know a few and to think there getting away with it while innocent people who need the benefits to survive honestly, really gets me angry ![/p][/quote]they can assess addicts with pleasure - I am talking about those who obviously are never going to improve to such an extent where they can work oftbewildered2
  • Score: 14

12:22pm Thu 5 Dec 13

cliff4treasurer says...

Whats he had amputated?
I had a tooth amputated once but I can still work?
Whats he had amputated? I had a tooth amputated once but I can still work? cliff4treasurer
  • Score: -29

1:22pm Thu 5 Dec 13

Regulatory Man says...

@garyhough tweeted about this earlier today.

Disgraceful state of affairs it is.
@garyhough tweeted about this earlier today. Disgraceful state of affairs it is. Regulatory Man
  • Score: 12

1:42pm Thu 5 Dec 13

wsw69 says...

cliff4treasurer wrote:
Whats he had amputated?
I had a tooth amputated once but I can still work?
You complete and utter thick idiot !!!
[quote][p][bold]cliff4treasurer[/bold] wrote: Whats he had amputated? I had a tooth amputated once but I can still work?[/p][/quote]You complete and utter thick idiot !!! wsw69
  • Score: 22

3:51pm Thu 5 Dec 13

stantheman133 says...

These must be another set of jobworth people who must be seen to doing there job,why don't they pick on a lot the others that claim they can't work must be a lot out there who are getting benefits but shouldn't.
These must be another set of jobworth people who must be seen to doing there job,why don't they pick on a lot the others that claim they can't work must be a lot out there who are getting benefits but shouldn't. stantheman133
  • Score: 10

3:57pm Thu 5 Dec 13

wsw69 says...

stantheman133 wrote:
These must be another set of jobworth people who must be seen to doing there job,why don't they pick on a lot the others that claim they can't work must be a lot out there who are getting benefits but shouldn't.
These checks and medical assesments are carried out by private money grabbing companies. There have been numerous TV investigative documentaries about them showing them up for what many of them are.

The 'savings' the government are trying to make from benefit payout reduction is far outweighed by the exorbitant fees - tens of millions of pounds per company - these private exploitative pocket lining outfits are raking in.

It's an utter joke in general but it sure aint no joke in reality to people like the gentleman referred to in this article.
[quote][p][bold]stantheman133[/bold] wrote: These must be another set of jobworth people who must be seen to doing there job,why don't they pick on a lot the others that claim they can't work must be a lot out there who are getting benefits but shouldn't.[/p][/quote]These checks and medical assesments are carried out by private money grabbing companies. There have been numerous TV investigative documentaries about them showing them up for what many of them are. The 'savings' the government are trying to make from benefit payout reduction is far outweighed by the exorbitant fees - tens of millions of pounds per company - these private exploitative pocket lining outfits are raking in. It's an utter joke in general but it sure aint no joke in reality to people like the gentleman referred to in this article. wsw69
  • Score: 13

4:25pm Thu 5 Dec 13

goldie47 says...

why dont these faceless jobsworths do something about the number of foreign scrougers claiming all benefits and then gambling the money away in the ever growing number of betting shops in the town centre
why dont these faceless jobsworths do something about the number of foreign scrougers claiming all benefits and then gambling the money away in the ever growing number of betting shops in the town centre goldie47
  • Score: 12

5:27pm Thu 5 Dec 13

mr.mark.c says...

ATOS strikes again, they are not even doctors.
ATOS strikes again, they are not even doctors. mr.mark.c
  • Score: 11

5:32pm Thu 5 Dec 13

bradds says...

Totally disgusting. Poor man
Totally disgusting. Poor man bradds
  • Score: 13

7:31pm Thu 5 Dec 13

bwfc58 says...

No one should ever vote for the Conservatives ever again they are only Benefiting the super rich every one else can just suffer I only wish i could help this gentleman of which i can not and there are to many in this country that are in the same boat I will be voting UKIP from now on and some people will agree with me and some will not
No one should ever vote for the Conservatives ever again they are only Benefiting the super rich every one else can just suffer I only wish i could help this gentleman of which i can not and there are to many in this country that are in the same boat I will be voting UKIP from now on and some people will agree with me and some will not bwfc58
  • Score: 4

7:36pm Thu 5 Dec 13

mr.mark.c says...

bwfc58 wrote:
No one should ever vote for the Conservatives ever again they are only Benefiting the super rich every one else can just suffer I only wish i could help this gentleman of which i can not and there are to many in this country that are in the same boat I will be voting UKIP from now on and some people will agree with me and some will not
Labour contracted ATOS and changed the system not the Conservatives.
[quote][p][bold]bwfc58[/bold] wrote: No one should ever vote for the Conservatives ever again they are only Benefiting the super rich every one else can just suffer I only wish i could help this gentleman of which i can not and there are to many in this country that are in the same boat I will be voting UKIP from now on and some people will agree with me and some will not[/p][/quote]Labour contracted ATOS and changed the system not the Conservatives. mr.mark.c
  • Score: 2

8:03pm Thu 5 Dec 13

bwfc0210 says...

cliff4treasurer wrote:
Whats he had amputated?
I had a tooth amputated once but I can still work?
Complete n utter b3lll3nd
[quote][p][bold]cliff4treasurer[/bold] wrote: Whats he had amputated? I had a tooth amputated once but I can still work?[/p][/quote]Complete n utter b3lll3nd bwfc0210
  • Score: 3

10:49pm Thu 5 Dec 13

magic dragon says...

There is one place that will fight for the genuine people who are being shafted by this government. Fightback4justice find us on facebook.
There is one place that will fight for the genuine people who are being shafted by this government. Fightback4justice find us on facebook. magic dragon
  • Score: 1

11:34am Fri 6 Dec 13

NOTnewsworthy says...

cliff4treasurer wrote:
Whats he had amputated?
I had a tooth amputated once but I can still work?
sounds like you need your head amputating
[quote][p][bold]cliff4treasurer[/bold] wrote: Whats he had amputated? I had a tooth amputated once but I can still work?[/p][/quote]sounds like you need your head amputating NOTnewsworthy
  • Score: 1

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