Disabled boy, 10, has benefits axed after ‘school wrongly tells DWP he does PE’

Disabled boy, 10, has benefits axed after ‘school wrongly tells DWP he does PE’


A dad claims that his disabled son could not get to school after their benefits were cut by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Reece Cameron, 10, had his Disability Living Allowance (DLA) stopped when the DWP were told – wrongly – he was taking part in PE lessons, according to his dad.

Mark Russell says that his son has never taken part in PE and struggles to even walk due to severe pain, reports Coventry Live.

Mr Russell, from the Alderman's Green area of Coventry, had his mobility vehicle taken away as a result of the benefits being stopped – and could do longer get his son to school or even get to the supermarket.

Mr Russell said: "From my house to the school is too far for him to walk, that’s why we’ve got the vehicle.

"We need the mobility car to get him to school and now I’ve got no transport at all.

“How do they have the right to take this away from my son?"

Reece, a pupil at Alderman's Green Primary School, has a condition which affects his legs and feet.

His dad says he has one foot larger than the other, and one leg longer than the other, and walking causes him great pain.

Reece has also been recovering from a major operation earlier this year, which his dad says left him with four-inch scars on his feet.

Mr Russell said he was forced to keep Reece at home for a week after his benefits were cut by the DWP and he lost his transport.

He claims Reece's school mistakingly told the DWP that Reece was now regularly doing PE, despite doctors confirming there had been no change in his condition.

Mr Russell was then given a letter from the school stating this is not the case, which was sent to the DWP as part of an appeal against their decision.

The DWP has since confirmed that Reece's benefits will be reinstated following a reassessment.

The school has also been providing taxis to take Reece to and from school while the appeal goes through.

However Mr Russell, who has three other children, says he has been left stranded without the use of a car.

"I can't even get from A to B," he said. "How am I supposed to get Reece to his hospital appointments without a car? The bus stop is too far from our house for him to walk to.

“It’s been the same all his life, he can’t walk without being in discomfort straight away.

"He looks like a normal kid, but people don't see what it's actually like for him.

“It hurts as a parent – as his dad.”

A spokesperson for Alderman's Green Primary School said: "Whilst we don’t comment on individual pupils, our priority as a school is to provide all the support we can to enable all our pupils to access and thrive at school, which we are doing here.

"This includes doing what we can to help parents in difficult circumstances and, where appropriate, supporting applications and appeals and assisting with transport to ensure our children can attend school."

A spokesperson for the DWP said: “We’re committed to ensuring that disabled people get the support they’re entitled to and we are continuing to support Reece with Disability Living Allowance payments.

“Decisions for DLA are made following consideration of all the information provided, including supporting evidence from a GP or medical specialist.

“Following his reassessment, we updated Reece’s payments based on new evidence supplied.

“If a parent or guardian disagrees with the decision made, they can appeal to an independent tribunal which is entirely separate from the DWP.”

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