A WOMAN whose life has been turned upside down by a rare condition feels she is being punished after having her benefits cut.


Julie Knight, from Pontrobert, was diagnosed four years ago with narcolepsy which causes her to fall asleep, and cataplexy, a condition which causes loss of muscle tone, stumbling, slurred speech and adverse effects from lighting, computers and flashing lights.

She also has stumbling fits when going into places like supermarkets and the condition affects her day to day living.

Despite battling on, Julie was forced to quit her job and apply for disability living allowance.

However at the end of 2015, a change in the law saw her lose part of her benefits and cause her family exceptional hardship, as they relied on family to get by.

She has told the County Times she feels punished for not being able to work, despite wanting to go out to work.

Julie said: “I tried to carry on working, but I was suffering from stumbling and falling asleep and my employer said I just couldn’t carry on working.

“My partner was looking after me, working part time, and getting a carer’s allowance, but now benefits have moved over to what is called PIP personal independence payment.

“It is made up of two components and I wasn’t granted one of the components, which meant we couldn’t get a carer’s allowance to help us, causing us serious problems.

“We have had to lean on our two adult children who live with us, to help pay bills, and my parents, and it just feels like I am being punished for having this condition which I can’t help.

“I want to work, but I can’t, and there are people out there who don’t want to work.

“How I am being treated is just wrong.”

Julie appealed the decision and had it overturned by the courts, which she thought would then allow her to claim the full amount and get back to some normality. However, the Department for Work and Pensions wrote to her, telling her they wanted written reasons from the court why the decision was made and no money would be paid until they were satisfied with the reasons.

If they are not, they will take the decision to a higher court, causing Julie and her family more prolonged financial problems.

She has admitted she feels like giving up and throwing in the towel, however she doesn’t want to do this, because she doesn’t want other people to be effected and “punished.”

She added: “It has been so stressful, and at times you can’t cope because emotion makes the condition worse.

“The government now considers conditions like this and epilepsy should be supported by the employer, but this hasn’t happened, it’s ridiculous.

“They have had all the documents from doctors about this, but are still not paying the money.

“It is so wrong, but I want to raise awareness so others aren’t treated like this.”

From- http://www.newsnorthwales.co.uk/news/165684/pontrobert-woman-being-punished-for-not-being-able-to-work.aspx

One comment

  1. This is totally normal the way DWP work.
    Simply splitting it into means tested and non means tested. Punishes your spouse. I know this. Lost my spouse because I became disabled.
    I struggle to walk and live in pain. But having a mobility car made life bareable. On reassessment that was taken away from me. Making me a prisoner in my own home. Sure I took on car payments but that means I barely survive. My car is constantly in reserve.
    A month or so ago I was admitted into hospital. I had blood clots in my leg. But they had gone through my heart and into my lungs. I lost half of my lung use. Even worse they discovered I had a heart attack. But my pain medication masked the problem. I could have died. Who would care. If it had not been for a couple who are young friends. I would not even have gone to the doctor. Even now I wonder why I keep trying. At least I’ve had chance to make a will. Everything is left to that young couple who made me feel needed. My ex spouse why could not be bothered. Get nothing. My family who are anti gay, also get nothing. I have life insurance. It can make this young couples life better.
    As for me, I’m so tired of being punished by the DWP that I no longer care.
    I feel if when disabled people give up fighting to live. The DWP and their employee who made a poor decission were held jointly and severely liable for damages and pain caused by loss of a loved one. Maybe then the DWP will start caring


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