Buxton mum with terminal brain cancer has benefits stopped by DWP

Kathy Hall
Kathy Hall

A mum with terminal brain cancer who was given just months to live has had some of her benefit money stopped after it was deemed she did not need additional financial support.

Kathy Hall says she feels like a prisoner in her own home now the Personal Independence Payment money has been stopped.

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The 44-year-old was diagnosed two-and-half-years ago with a grade four tumour after complaining of headaches and then falling in and out of consciousness while on holiday in Wales.

She was taken for an MRI scan which found her brain was being crushed by fluid between her skull and her brain. An emergency helicopter flew her to Salford where the fluid was drained off and surgery removed 95 per cent of the tumour on her brain.

Kathy, of Beech View Drive in Harpur Hill, said: “I was given between six months and a year to live. I had daily radiotherapy at The Christie in Manchester for six weeks as well as rounds of chemotherapy. I’m a very strong person and I refused to let it beat me.”
Kathy defied doctors’ expectations because she says she does not like to think of herself as being ill.

Her 17-year-old son is her reason for getting up every morning and her dog, Stewie, gives her a reason to leave the house every day as she says the fresh air helps her feel better.

In August Kathy’s £140 per week Personal Independence Payments were stopped by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) following an assessment.

Kathy said: “I want to work, but my consultant says I can’t. I get so very tired in the afternoons, I forget things and my speech starts to slur.

“That money may not have been much but I’m dying of cancer and it gave me the freedom to make some memories with my son. Now it has been taken away from me I am a prisoner in my own home and I am losing the fight in me.”

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The DWP says people with a terminal diagnosis, such as Kathy, are given a higher rate of PIP allowance for a certain period of time.

She was assessed in the summer by the DWP, which say her consultant reports state her prognosis has changed and the PIP needed to reflect this.

A DWP spokesperson said: “We’re committed to ensuring disabled people and those with health conditions get the support they’re entitled to.

“Decisions about PIP entitlement are made based on information provided, including from a GP or medical specialist.

“Where a claimant disagrees after a review they can submit a further appeal to a free independent tribunal.

“Ms Hall continues to receive support through Universal Credit.”