Disabled Grimsby man will have benefits stopped if he can't prove how poorly he is
A DISABLED man – who suffers up to 10 seizures a day following an accident – has told of his shock at having to prove he is ill.
Graham Blakey, 52, of Grimsby, suffers from a variety of conditions linked to his fits, which have occurred all of his life, but became more severe after an accident in the 1980s.
He has now been told by the Government to "prove" his problems as part of a nationwide disability benefits review.
He contacted the Grimsby Telegraph to highlight what he claims is a "stressful" process for poorly people to go through.
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"I have had fits all of my life, but they got worse when I fell down four sets of stairs at my then place of work in 1986," he said.
"I left work that year, and have been on long-term sick pay and disability benefits ever since.
"Now, I suffer from arthritis and spinal problems, caused by my thrashing when I fit.
"I get no warning that it's going to happen and can lose up to 24 hours of my memory after having one.
"I have to be accompanied at all times. I have nearly been run over many times after fitting in the street.
"I am not capable of working – who is going to employ someone who is so at risk?
"Recently, I received a telephone call saying I had four weeks to prove my disabilities, that they would send me paperwork through the post and that I had to go to a physical examination.
"When I went for the examination, I had a seizure in the waiting room and then a small epileptic fit, known as a Petit Mal, during the actual appointment.
"I also had to get written proof from my numerous consultants to prove my conditions, some of whom I could not get an appointment with until this month.
"The Government has told me that if I fail to get proof within the deadline they set, I will have my benefits – my only source of income – stopped and I will have to sign on for Jobseeker's Allowance.
"This situation has put myself and my wife, who is my main carer and has health problems herself, under a lot of stress.
"There will be a lot of other people who will be in the same position as me and could be really struggling.
"There should be a fairer system that doesn't put claimants under this level of stress – a few weeks isn't long enough."