A mum of three who suffers with multiple sclerosis says she has been left without her disability payments after JobCentre staff secretly filmed her walking her dog.
Clare Slater, from Lincoln, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1996 and has claimed disability living allowance, and later personal independence payment, since she was 18.
The mum, 40, says it takes her 90 minutes to get out of bed – but thinks that for DWP officials, ‘their version of disabled is sat drooling in bed unable to move’, rather than trying to live as normal a life as possible.
She says that she suffers daily with symptoms of MS and is currently undertaking monthly treatment using TYABRI, a prescription medicine for relapsing forms of her condition.
She says that the JobCentre were informed that she was fraudulently claiming for her disability, which led to staff secretly filming Clare walking her dog and shopping in Asda.
But she insists there were no fraudulent claims – and the filming should never have happened.
The 40-year-old said: “I have made great improvements with my condition but still suffer with symptoms on a daily basis.
“I got myself a little dog, basically to help me keep mobile, get out of the house and see people.
“I take the dog on short walks, or as long as I can manage. But I also go out regularly on my mobility scooter and wheelchair on bad days.
“The first I heard that I had been filmed was when the JobCentre called me in for a meeting. I had no idea what it would be for and when I got there I felt ambushed.
“They showed me the footage of me walking the dog and shopping. After the meeting they stopped my benefit.
“Despite claiming PIP, I was still working 20 hours a week, which was exhausting for me, but I did it because I had to.
“I feel like I have fought all my life to try to achieve despite my condition.
“Had they come on any other day, they might have seen me out in my mobility scooter, or in my wheelchair. Had they seen me first thing in the morning, they would have known that it takes me an hour and a half just to get out of bed.
“I feel like the DWP try to make sure that disabled people aren’t allowed to attempt to live a life.
“It’s not fair for disabled people who are trying to make a life for themselves but just need a little support.”
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Clare, who has three teenage daughters, currently sees an MS specialist nurse, who has written a letter of support to the DWP on behalf of Clare.
Clare said: “If I wasn’t undertaking the treatment, I would be bed-bound.
“I feel lucky because I was told when I was diagnosed that I would be in a wheelchair by the time I hit 30. I’m 40 now and have accomplished so much but I feel if you try as a disabled person, you’re punished.”
A DWP spokesman said: “PIP decisions are made following careful consideration of all the available evidence. If someone disagrees with a decision they can appeal through an independent tribunal process.”
This content was originally published here.