Disabled carer told ‘you’re fit to work’

Craven Herald: Graeme Tyldesley, who suffers from a degenerative spinal disease, with Sharon Hodgson from Craven Advocacy, who is helping with his appeal Graeme Tyldesley, who suffers from a degenerative spinal disease, with Sharon Hodgson from Craven Advocacy, who is helping with his appeal

A disabled man from Sutton-in-Craven has been told he is fit for work – despite being a full-time carer for his elderly mother.

Graeme Tyldesley is a blue card holder with a degenerative spine disease and is currently in remission from cancer of the bladder.

He also cares for his 82-year-old mother, Maisie, who has Alzheimer’s Disease and cannot be left alone.

But following a work capability assessment by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), his employment and support allowance – formerly incapacity benefit – of around £280 per month has been stopped.

Mr Tyldesley, 57, who worked at Airedale General Hospital for 21 years including 14 years as a porter until he was retired in 2002 because of ill health, is appealing against the decision with the help of Craven Advocacy.

He also has letters of support from his GP and the consultant who cares for him with his spinal disease.

But even though the appeal could go in his favour, until a decision is made, the allowance will remain cancelled – possibly for several months.

“When they told me I was fit for work, I was really upset and it has caused me a great deal of stress,” said Mr Tyldesley, who has seen his anti-depressants increased as a result.

“I can see why they are having to do this, but I think they’re targeting the wrong people.”

The work capability assessment included Mr Tyldesley performing some simple physical tests, such as being able to lift a telephone or sit down – but did not take into account the care of his mother or her wellbeing.

In order to continue receiving the allowance, he needed to score 15 points, but he only scored six.

The decision letter acknowledged he might be shocked, but that entitlement was not based on his health condition or disability, but on what he was capable of doing.

“They’ve told me I’m capable of doing some sort of desk job, but I’ve never done anything like that. I was a porter for 14 years and I loved my job, but I’ve no experience at desk work,” he said.

He has been told he could qualify for Jobseekers Allowance – but that will depend on him being available for work.

His mother, who lives with him, has professional carers who come in four times a day to wash her and prepare her for bed. But the bulk of her care is carried out by her son, who is with her all the time, including at night, when she regularly wakes.

“She cannot ever be left alone and if I was not here with her I would have to employ a full-time carer, or she would have to go into a home, which I really don’t want, it must cost less for me to care for her as well,” said Mr Tyldesley.

“My mother suffers panic attacks and sometimes I will get just two hours sleep at night.”

Mr Tyldesley does receive a pension from the hospital and is in receipt of disability living allowance, but without incapacity benefit, he will have to resort to his limited savings.

Sharon Hodgson, from Craven Advocacy, which helps people with advice and support, said she was shocked by the decision and was convinced that Mr Tyldesley should continue to receive the allowance.

“I was really shocked, I thought on his medical grounds alone he would score 15 points, and that was without taking into account how difficult it is to care for someone with Alzheimer’s,” she said.
She added the service, which is a charity, has seen large numbers of people coming to them having had their incapacity benefit withdrawn.“

These assessments don’t take into account the full picture, people are being treated like numbers and its just not right.”

A DWP spokesperson said: “Employment and Support Allowance assesses someone’s capacity for work and looks at what a person can do because we know conditions affect different people in different ways.

“A decision on whether someone is well enough to work is taken following a thorough face-to-face assessment and after consideration of all the supporting medical evidence provided by the claimant.

“We have made considerable improvements to the work capability assessment to make it fairer and more effective. If someone disagrees with the outcome of their claim, they have the right to submit new evidence and appeal.”

Comments (10)

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1:26pm Thu 29 Nov 12

Skipton man says...

Bloody disgusting!!!
Yet another government body not fit for purpose.
Bloody disgusting!!! Yet another government body not fit for purpose. Skipton man
  • Score: 1

1:30pm Thu 29 Nov 12

dennisnilsen says...

This is an absolute disgrace. But, hey Skipton loves the Conservatives!
This government is entirely responsible for the deaths of hundreds of disabled people due to their benefit cuts.
This is an absolute disgrace. But, hey Skipton loves the Conservatives! This government is entirely responsible for the deaths of hundreds of disabled people due to their benefit cuts. dennisnilsen
  • Score: 0

5:18pm Thu 29 Nov 12

Skipton Ratepayer says...

ATOS interviews do NOT take medical evidence into consideration, nor are they thorough. If you can get to the interview, they consider you fit for work. This scheme is causing deaths, but ATOS will still get the money each time, because that's another nasty scrounger not claiming benefit. I just wish that the people responsible for this highly expensive scheme could spend time in the lives of the desperate people they are persecuting.
ATOS interviews do NOT take medical evidence into consideration, nor are they thorough. If you can get to the interview, they consider you fit for work. This scheme is causing deaths, but ATOS will still get the money each time, because that's another nasty scrounger not claiming benefit. I just wish that the people responsible for this highly expensive scheme could spend time in the lives of the desperate people they are persecuting. Skipton Ratepayer
  • Score: 1

5:24pm Thu 29 Nov 12

wildthing666 says...

If his mother is claiming attendance allowance then he can claim carers allowance, if she is not then I suggest that he gets the forms and claims both the benefits and gets them backdated for as long as possible, 3 months last I knew, He can then say he is her registered full time carer and give ATOS & the DWP the finger
If his mother is claiming attendance allowance then he can claim carers allowance, if she is not then I suggest that he gets the forms and claims both the benefits and gets them backdated for as long as possible, 3 months last I knew, He can then say he is her registered full time carer and give ATOS & the DWP the finger wildthing666
  • Score: 0

11:48pm Thu 29 Nov 12

annoyedlady says...

I've gone through a similar situation with ATOS and was considered fit for work with no points. They didn't take into consideration the pile of paperwork that I sent in or my evidence from my GP. None of their so called tests applied to me and I failed their scoring. Undeterred I appealed and after a long wait I went to a tribunal and WON!!

It's not easy to do but when you know you're right, don't be defeated, stick to your guns and stand up to them.

Good luck with your case. When you're in the kind of situation you're in, you need all the help you can get, not having to go through all this stress on top of everything else.
I've gone through a similar situation with ATOS and was considered fit for work with no points. They didn't take into consideration the pile of paperwork that I sent in or my evidence from my GP. None of their so called tests applied to me and I failed their scoring. Undeterred I appealed and after a long wait I went to a tribunal and WON!! It's not easy to do but when you know you're right, don't be defeated, stick to your guns and stand up to them. Good luck with your case. When you're in the kind of situation you're in, you need all the help you can get, not having to go through all this stress on top of everything else. annoyedlady
  • Score: 1

8:37am Fri 30 Nov 12

Olley Owl Owd Betts Barn says...

While I agree that, there may be many people who have some form of disability, may be able to carry out some form of employment. However, would it not be more beneficial if able-bodied persons were sorted out first? Many of those who are unemployed, could take employment, and may be offered a position if they did not hide behind the fact “That they are far better off on unemployment benefits” rather than some job that pays peanuts. We also know that any test that as any form of scoring by points can be manipulated by the examiner. Our doctors are among the best, and if a person General Practitioner state that someone is unfit for work, then prior to stopping any benefits the GP should be given the opportunity to defend his/her decision, prior to any jumped up civil servant using some mythical numbers point scoring system in an attempt to save this Coalition Government some paltry few coppers, when they can find billions fighting wars in other countries, that ultimately have nothing to do with us.
While I agree that, there may be many people who have some form of disability, may be able to carry out some form of employment. However, would it not be more beneficial if able-bodied persons were sorted out first? Many of those who are unemployed, could take employment, and may be offered a position if they did not hide behind the fact “That they are far better off on unemployment benefits” rather than some job that pays peanuts. We also know that any test that as any form of scoring by points can be manipulated by the examiner. Our doctors are among the best, and if a person General Practitioner state that someone is unfit for work, then prior to stopping any benefits the GP should be given the opportunity to defend his/her decision, prior to any jumped up civil servant using some mythical numbers point scoring system in an attempt to save this Coalition Government some paltry few coppers, when they can find billions fighting wars in other countries, that ultimately have nothing to do with us. Olley Owl Owd Betts Barn
  • Score: 1

6:43pm Sat 1 Dec 12

yorksteacher says...

I'm sorry, it is a poor situation but there are other benefits he can claim because he is caring for his mother. If he spends his time looking after her then to my mind that suggests HE IS fit for work, else he would not be able to manage the physical tasks involved in looking after her. It's your taxes he is spending at the end of the day.
I'm sorry, it is a poor situation but there are other benefits he can claim because he is caring for his mother. If he spends his time looking after her then to my mind that suggests HE IS fit for work, else he would not be able to manage the physical tasks involved in looking after her. It's your taxes he is spending at the end of the day. yorksteacher
  • Score: -1

8:32pm Tue 4 Dec 12

dennisnilsen says...

OLLY OWL, unemployment benefit is £71 per week, how in the world can anyone be "better off" on that than working? I am unemployed and I will get £142 on Thursday, after I have paid bills, bought food etc, I will have left approximately £40 to last me two weeks. That is £20 per week, or £2.85 per day.
How dare you suggest that I would not work for "peanuts"? I would gladly work and have applied for 16 jobs in the last fortnight, and so far have had two replies, both rejections. You find me a job that pays "peanuts" (and by "peanuts" I assume you mean the minimum wage) and I will bite your hand off.

YORKSTEACHER, did you not read "Graeme Tyldesley is a blue card holder with a degenerative spine disease and is currently in remission from cancer of the bladder."? It was the second paragraph of the article. Get back to the Daily Mail.
OLLY OWL, unemployment benefit is £71 per week, how in the world can anyone be "better off" on that than working? I am unemployed and I will get £142 on Thursday, after I have paid bills, bought food etc, I will have left approximately £40 to last me two weeks. That is £20 per week, or £2.85 per day. How dare you suggest that I would not work for "peanuts"? I would gladly work and have applied for 16 jobs in the last fortnight, and so far have had two replies, both rejections. You find me a job that pays "peanuts" (and by "peanuts" I assume you mean the minimum wage) and I will bite your hand off. YORKSTEACHER, did you not read "Graeme Tyldesley is a blue card holder with a degenerative spine disease and is currently in remission from cancer of the bladder."? It was the second paragraph of the article. Get back to the Daily Mail. dennisnilsen
  • Score: 1

2:22am Fri 7 Dec 12

danymous says...

yorksteacher wrote:
I'm sorry, it is a poor situation but there are other benefits he can claim because he is caring for his mother. If he spends his time looking after her then to my mind that suggests HE IS fit for work, else he would not be able to manage the physical tasks involved in looking after her. It's your taxes he is spending at the end of the day.
You really must get your facts straight, and stop thinking you have any right to speak for other people when you have no knowledge of them or their situation. I am also a disabled carer (for 30 years), and of course it is possible to care for someone else if one has disabilities of one's own. It all depends on what you can do, and what you are required to do. But it does not follow that someone who cares for someone else in their own home has any genuine capacity to do a day's work. Shame on you for your ignorance and heartlessness. I hope you suffer a major disability, then you will know.
[quote][p][bold]yorksteacher[/bold] wrote: I'm sorry, it is a poor situation but there are other benefits he can claim because he is caring for his mother. If he spends his time looking after her then to my mind that suggests HE IS fit for work, else he would not be able to manage the physical tasks involved in looking after her. It's your taxes he is spending at the end of the day.[/p][/quote]You really must get your facts straight, and stop thinking you have any right to speak for other people when you have no knowledge of them or their situation. I am also a disabled carer (for 30 years), and of course it is possible to care for someone else if one has disabilities of one's own. It all depends on what you can do, and what you are required to do. But it does not follow that someone who cares for someone else in their own home has any genuine capacity to do a day's work. Shame on you for your ignorance and heartlessness. I hope you suffer a major disability, then you will know. danymous
  • Score: 2

8:44am Fri 7 Dec 12

Olley Owl Owd Betts Barn says...

danymous wrote:
yorksteacher wrote:
I'm sorry, it is a poor situation but there are other benefits he can claim because he is caring for his mother. If he spends his time looking after her then to my mind that suggests HE IS fit for work, else he would not be able to manage the physical tasks involved in looking after her. It's your taxes he is spending at the end of the day.
You really must get your facts straight, and stop thinking you have any right to speak for other people when you have no knowledge of them or their situation. I am also a disabled carer (for 30 years), and of course it is possible to care for someone else if one has disabilities of one's own. It all depends on what you can do, and what you are required to do. But it does not follow that someone who cares for someone else in their own home has any genuine capacity to do a day's work. Shame on you for your ignorance and heartlessness. I hope you suffer a major disability, then you will know.
Wishing ills on someone only makes your sensible comments become meaningless.
I can understand that a disabled person is able to care for another disabled member of the family, and still not be in a position to take on a part-time or a full time work.
[quote][p][bold]danymous[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]yorksteacher[/bold] wrote: I'm sorry, it is a poor situation but there are other benefits he can claim because he is caring for his mother. If he spends his time looking after her then to my mind that suggests HE IS fit for work, else he would not be able to manage the physical tasks involved in looking after her. It's your taxes he is spending at the end of the day.[/p][/quote]You really must get your facts straight, and stop thinking you have any right to speak for other people when you have no knowledge of them or their situation. I am also a disabled carer (for 30 years), and of course it is possible to care for someone else if one has disabilities of one's own. It all depends on what you can do, and what you are required to do. But it does not follow that someone who cares for someone else in their own home has any genuine capacity to do a day's work. Shame on you for your ignorance and heartlessness. I hope you suffer a major disability, then you will know.[/p][/quote]Wishing ills on someone only makes your sensible comments become meaningless. I can understand that a disabled person is able to care for another disabled member of the family, and still not be in a position to take on a part-time or a full time work. Olley Owl Owd Betts Barn
  • Score: 0

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