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Dad with 6 months to live ‘devastated’ after DWP ask him to reapply for benefits

RonStevenson, 69, who is almost completely paralysed, was warned his benefit payments could stop on July 29 if he did not reply to a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions

Ron Stevenson has a terminal illness – He also has a message for Amber Rudd

A terminally ill man with just six months to live was ‘devastated’ to be told he’d need to reapply for his benefits.

Ron Stevenson, 69, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease 10 years ago and relies on moderate weekly care payments to supplement his care.

But last month, Ron received a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) calling for him to reapply for his benefits because he is up for reassessment.

He says the letter told him if he did not reply his payments would stop on July 29.

Former special needs teacher Ron is almost completely paralysed, leaving him reliant on carers and his wife Gill.

Those in his position can claim up to £150 a week in Personal Independence Payments to ease suffering and care.

Grandfather Ron, of Staplefield, West Sussex, but originally from Lancashire, called the call for reassessment “devastating”.

Ron received his diagnosis 10 years ago (Image: SWNS)

He said: “The letter said if you do not reply then on July 29 your payments will stop.

“Obviously I’m aware that this is something that can happen, but it was still a shock.

“People with motor neurone disease never get better – there is only one outcome and that is death.

“Anyone with a grain of sense would’ve realised anyone paralysed and life limited as I am cannot be anything other than eligible.”

Ron says the letter came as a shock (Image: SWNS)

After weeks of worry, Ron and Gill, 64, contacted the DWP by phone to set the record straight.

He said: “The following day I got news back saying that the DWP is looking at the case and I would receive a letter.

“I rang my GP for my DS1500 form – which is the form that states the patients will die within six months.”

Ron was contacted by the office of MP Nicholas Soames and reassured that after speaking with the DWP, his payment would continue.

Former special needs teacher Ron is almost completely paralysed, leaving him reliant on carers and his wife Gill (Image: SWNS)

He said: “This individual case does not cover all the others with the condition – not everyone has the support that I do.

“Some will look at the letter and think ‘oh my God’, they have lost their benefits, imagine the disconsolation.”

The DWP contacted Ron by letter on Wednesday, more than a month after his call, to confirm he will be getting his benefits for three more years – if he lives long enough.

When asked about this further reassessment, a DWP spokeswoman said: “This will be a letter saying has his condition changed.”

She was then reminded that Ron’s condition is terminal, to which she said “these are the rules we have to follow”.

Ron Stevenson and his wife Gill in a photo taken in 1974 (Image: SWNS)

According to the Motor Neurone Association, there are 5,000 people suffering with the degenerative condition in the UK.

The report also estimated the cost to a family of having to live with MND as £15,000 each year.

Father-of-two Ron said the “crazy” situation of reassessment for motor neurone sufferers must be addressed.

He said: “We were promised by the government that the reassessment for benefits would stop in 2016 – this has been broken.

“I’m working to raise awareness, we won’t stop fighting, despite the fact the disability is fatiguing.

“I have lost the use of my limbs, but I shall use my voice, while my friends can no longer.”

Ron pictured with his family 10 years ago – around the time of his first diagnosis (Image: SWNS)

Most motor neurone disease sufferers die within two to five years of diagnosis, and it is the condition that claimed the life of renowned physicist Stephen Hawking.

A DWP spokesperson added: “Our thoughts are with Mr Stevenson at this difficult time and we are sorry if our notification letter caused him distress.

“We fast track reviews to confirm support for people in his situation, which can be done by the medical professional on their behalf, and we continue to pay Mr Stevenson the higher rate of PIP without a break.”

With many thanks to the: Daily Mirror and Daniel Hammond for the original story

Repellent, chaotic and a serial liar, Boris Johnson would be a catastrophic prime minister

Boris Johnson dubbed “most irresponsible politician the country has seen for many years” at Economist awards

Boris Johnson was crowned the Idiot of the Year and dubbed the “most irresponsible politician the country has seen for many years” at The Economist’s alternative awards last night.

The former London Mayor and Foreign Secretary pipped Theresa May to the “prize idiot” gong.

“Traitors of the UK” unite as Brexit poll goes horribly wrong

Citing Brexit the judges said they felt the award should go to “one of the architects of this catastrophe”.

They added: “He failed miserably as foreign secretary. He sniped at Mrs May while in Cabinet. He has agitated against her deal from the backbenches and in his lucrative newspaper column without presenting a real alternative. A demagogue not a statesman, he is the most irresponsible politician the country has seen for many years.”

Other awards handed out on the night included the Seat-Blocker of the Year, which went to Chris “Failing” Grayling for a combination of incompetence and unpopularity.

The Failed Comeback of the Year went to the “political centre”, with David Miliband, Sir Vince Cable and David Cameron all mounting failed attempts to return to the big time.

David Davis scooped the most Deluded Politician of the Year award, beating Jacob Rees-Mogg hands down for the way he “swaggers around Parliament like a Roman general returning from conquering the Gauls” despite being a disaster of a Brexit secretary.

And the Own-Goal Scorer of the Year was scooped by leader of the Democratic Unionist Party Arlene Foster, who was credited for paving the way for a second referendum on Brexit and giving Jeremy Corbyn the keys to Downing Street, two things she has passionately campaigned against.


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Giving ERG a crack of the whip could deliver the dose of realism Brexiteers so desperately need

With many thanks to the: London Economic and Jack Peat for the original story


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