DWP told me to quit my job to claim benefits

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An electrician was told to quit his job and claim benefits - after the DWP deemed him 'fit to work' with a broken leg, as he explains in this video.

A skilled electrician was left stunned when assessors from the Department of Work and Pensions deemed him "fit to work" and told him to quit his £40,000-a-year position - after his doctor signed him off sick with a broken leg.

Speaking on camera, Martin Flowers, 60, explains how he was signed off sick by a doctor after having an accident at work, which has left him on crutches and unable to return to his position since January. Due to his injury, the skilled electrician has been living off £415 a month Statuary Sick Pay (SSP) and put in a temporary claim for Universal Credit to help pay his bills.

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They said he would only get financial help if he got another job he could do with his injury - despite his current employers saying they will welcome him back once fit. And he claims the DWP also 'effectively told him to lie' after advising him not to tell any future employers why he left his current post.

Martin Ingram Flowers (60) who broke his leg at work and was told by the DWP to quit his £40k a year job in order to claim benefits.Martin Ingram Flowers (60) who broke his leg at work and was told by the DWP to quit his £40k a year job in order to claim benefits.
Martin Ingram Flowers (60) who broke his leg at work and was told by the DWP to quit his £40k a year job in order to claim benefits. | Shropshire Star / SWNS

The DWP has since apologised for the "error" and any distress they may have caused Martin, who is keen to get back to work as soon as possible. He said: “In the building trade there are health and safety rules and you can't walk around a construction site on crutches. So I need to be declared fit by my consultant who has said I should be able to start back from around mid-July.”

Martin, whose wife is on Personal Independence Payment (PIP), found his SSC was not enough to support them both so made the Universal Credit claim. He said the temporary fix would have helped them pay their bills, otherwise they risked losing their home. However, despite his planned return to work next month, he was shocked to be told by the DWP on Wednesday (12/6) he was deemed fit to work.

Martin, who is still using crutches, added: “They called and said I had been declared fit to work, despite me having a sick note signed by a consultant. I explained that I could not go back to my job with a broken leg but the man on the phone said I had to quit that job and find another that I could do.

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He said even though I am on crutches, I could work in a office or somewhere else.”

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The Department of Work and Pensions has since apologised and blamed the independent agency who carried out Martin's assessment.

A spokesperson said: "We apologise to Mr Flowers for the error and any distress caused. Jobcentre staff have contacted Mr Flowers directly and the issue has been resolved."

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