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Fife man in death protest over benefits



A SEVERELY disabled Scot has “written his own death certificate” after stopping his medication in a protest against government red tape.

Frank Campbell suffers from chronic lung disease but claims officials have him “jumping through hoops” to receive his benefits.

The 55-year-old has been begged by his family and GP to abandon his protest but he maintains it is the only way to fight the bureaucrats.

 

Mr Campbell may face a sharp decline in health as a result of not taking medication

 

 

Frank, from Rosyth, Fife, suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) which is the fifth-biggest killer in the world, claiming the lives of 250 sufferers every hour.

The railway engineer was diagnosed with the illness in 1988 but managed to stay in his job until 2005.

It was only last year he decided he would try and get help as he was told he wasn’t eligible for a carer, but since then has been bombarded with forms and procedures.

He said: “I received a document on Friday from the Job Centre saying that I had to fill out more bloody forms in order to get help with money.

“I then went to the Job Centre in Dunfermline on Monday, which was a real struggle for me, and said that it was getting out of hand with the number if forms and if it continued then I’d stop taking my medication.

“The advisor said ‘No, you can’t do that’ but nothing was resolved – so on Monday night I stopped my treatment.”

The only thing Frank still uses is his oxygen tank that he is hooked up to for 16 hours a day.

The treatment he gave up was a steroid inhaler and an assortment of medicines which help get desperately needed oxygen into his blood stream.

He said: “I’ve basically written my own death certificate.

“It means in a few weeks, maybe a month, I’ll struggle breathing, be in pain and end up in hospital – then things just get worse.

“I’m not scared. I’m on borrowed time as it is. I was told by a consultant when I first got diagnosed that I would die when I was 52.

“And now it seems better than putting up with all this rubbish from the Job Centre. They should accept people with a long-term illness have got a long-term illness and shouldn’t be made to prove it again and again.”

He added: “You’re only getting a couple of months between each form, they make you feel like you’re jumping through hoops with all the different stages you have to go through to continue getting benefits.”

Frank lives with his elderly mother Mary.

He said: “I’m not scared about dying. I’ve been kind of preparing myself for years. But my mother is concerned. I don’t know how long I’ll have now, but I know I won’t be collecting a state pension.”

Inverkeithing MSP Helen Eadie recently hosted an event at Holyrood that highlighted the struggles of genuine benefit  cases such as Frank.

She said: “Mr Campbell is being put in an intolerable position and the authorities should think again.

“It is worth pointing out that of those turned down for Employment Ssupport Allowance as many as 60% win their appeals which shows that they system is just not working.”

Dr Jean Turner from the Scottish Patient’s Association said: “It is sad that reasonable communication has not seemed to work in this case and this man has been brave enough to make a stand in the only way he feels he will be noticed to have his point made.

“With COPD he will not have the energy to deal with the bureaucracy and the phone calls. I hope the benefits system finds a human face and deals with this case urgently.”

The Department for Work and Pensions said they are just following “re-assessment” procedures.

A spokesman said: “The Work Capability Assessment is an important part of the Government’s reforms to incapacity benefit.

“The old system simply wrote too many people off without looking at what they were able to do.

“If it is found the condition hasn’t changed following the re-assessment the he or she would be allowed to stay on ESA.”

Short URL: http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/?p=53917

Posted by on Jul 19 2012. Filed under Scottish News, Top Stories, Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

8 Comments for “Fife man in death protest over benefits”

  1. “The old system simply wrote too many people off without looking at what they were able to do”. – That is a feeble excuse and does not stack up the fact remains that there are disabled people who are quiet simply not fit enough to work and doing so will do more harm than good.

    It is about time the Government realised there are certain health conditions where work is not the primary choice and thus those citizens should get all the help they need to sustain an independent life.

    I am going through very similar circumstances due to SAH Stroke, however these injustices are given me the willpower to fight because I will not lie down and take what the Government through at me.

    I wish this man good luck and I sincerely hope the DWP sort this man out as it is quiet clear he is in no fit state to work because hell even living is an uphill struggle for him.

  2. Disgraceful beaurocrats,shame on them to hound/harrass people off of deserved support, why do you pay your national insurance, this man did really well to continue working for so long.

  3. Stephanie Marshall

    A Social Worker of some kind should be helping Frank with these forms and giving him some support. H worked hard all his life and this is the thanks he gets – it is disgusting and unforgiveable. when oh when are we going to get this govenment out? Why can’t labour ask for a vote of no confidence, which judging by the local elections they would surely win? Those disabledpeople who wantto work should be helped to do so with kindness, those who cannot work because they are far too ill should also be supported. I am shocked at what this governemnt is doing, they are surely breaking the law on Human Rights. Frank should feel free to contact me if he would like to.

  4. I’ve been making the same painful journey as Frank.
    I too, have COPD. After 3 years, several claims and tribunals, I’m no nearer getting any help. I can’t even qualify for a blue badge until my disease is acknowledged.
    When I was last refused, my advisor just told me “Hard luck” and put the phone down on me.
    I’ve lost my home, my work and my health, yet have never had a visit from the so called ‘support services’ to check up on how I’m managing to cope.
    I guess we’re on our own Frank.
    Good luck mate.

  5. Ive been through the same thing – hurdle after exhausting, painful hurdle – I dont have franks condition – I have a degenerative condition with no treatment and no cure and am on morphine and other strong drugs to help with pain. One form sent by ATOS took me 6hrs to complete and resulted in several painful finger dislocations – I did phone them and ask where i could get an electronic version of the form to fill out or if they could help me – they said NO but the form must be back within the designated time. These forms arrived just weeks after winning an appeal and being put back into the support group – they were starting the entire process again because I had won my appeal. Now we are facing turmoil with DLA – I read through black triangle that the govts actual figures for disability benefit fraud are miniscule in comparison to other fraudulent activities – not that it makes it ok but over 95% of claimants are genuine – but we are all being treated like scrounging fraudsters – I know how frank feels – i dont have the energy for the endless forms and assessments that im being subjected to – im too ill – i think thats why the govt are picking on us – because we are the least able to fight back – but frank dont do this – its not worth it, at some point someone has to wake up and realise that this government is attacking the most vulnerable in society to pay for the greedy mess left by the most powerful

  6. They have to interview you every 6 months to see whether your lungs have grown back….

  7. Karen Crossley

    My thoughts and prays are with Frank and his mothe that something is done immediately to resolve his issue x

    As for getting support with forms etc all of the welfare rights funding was dropped last year and I know for a fact that all 3 services in my area have closed down and the charity run centre called Dial is inundated with people with the same problems. I am a member on a forum and thought through an accident I am in constant pain, have poor mobility and severe fatigue I do all I can to help others with these forms when I can – anyone needing help please please call social services – yes they too are overwhelmed and unqualified to do these continual barrage of forms but with hope someone maybe able to help x it has taken me since 2009 to come to terms with my condition and I still can’t quite get my head around the fact I will never work again – yesterday I helped at a charity event raising money for Combat Stress after a young soldier took his own life. I sat on my walker face painting and enjoying being part of something again and ended up being taken by ambulance with a heart spasm – same as a heart attack but not life threatening or due to disease or blockage by because my muscles spasm and your heart is one! Was very scary and upsetting for me and my 15yr old daughter who was with me as my carer x my heart rate was 157 and has now settled to 120 so hospital have sent me home to get further treatment from the dr tomorrow x I feel extremely down about it as the media keeps saying its about what you can do so I try and am proved – Nothing!!! I am disabled for life, my gp said so, my consultants said so, my pain specialist said so! But we still have to prove to these money grabbing atos medical monkeys that they know better – I’m sorry but how does a physiotherapist know better than 3 consultants and how dare a computer flow chart kick you off with a “computer said no” if you answe one question incorrectly ie the word you use to describe something such as your pain is not in the list. I will pray for you Frank but believe me if I didn’t have my 3 beautiful daughter I would be joining you xxx god bless you xxx

  8. although i should have nothing to worry about, thats exactley what ive been doing for over 1 and a half years now..this amount of stress is dangerous and helps noone. it fails to save money , only giving it to somthing else, and i believe is an infringement of human rights, after all their not even pretending to be human about what their doing.

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