A disabled woman claims she has been left house-bound after her mobility scooter was taken away – by the benefits office.
Jane Roberts says the Department for Work and Pensions took away her only way of getting around after it was deemed she did not need the motorised vehicle – despite the fact she can’t walk.
The 53-year-old suffers from a breathing condition and osteoporosis, which weakens her bones and makes them more likely to break.
Her ill health is so serious, she says she cannot walk from her lounge to the kitchen without becoming breathless.
The mobility vehicle was removed from Jane following a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessment last month.
Jane, from Canterbury, Kent, says she cannot leave her house without the electric vehicle, which she had used for two years.
She said: “My life is hell as I can’t go out now without the scooter. People say you have got to have your independence but I do not know how I can be independent when I cannot get around.
“I cannot get on a bus because I am claustrophobic and I cannot walk from my living room to my kitchen because I get out of breath. The scooter was very important.
“I cannot move around and I get out of breath just by talking. I can’t understand why I was given a scooter but then had it taken away.
“I walk with a stick and my eyesight isn’t very good – I really need that mobility scooter as it gets me from A to B.”
Jane says she will appeal the decision by the Department for Work and Pensions, which she says has left her unable to live a normal life.
She suffers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which makes it difficult to walk.
The condition restricts airflow to her lungs, with symptoms including coughing and breathlessness.
A DWP spokesperson said: “Decisions for PIP are made following consideration of all the information provided by the claimant, including supporting evidence from their GP or medical specialist.
“Anyone that disagrees with a decision can appeal. Most people leaving the Motability Scheme are eligible for a one-off payment of up to £2,000 to help meet their needs.”