A young man who lost his arm in a motorcycle accident is “frustrated” at being left £21-a-week to live on after being deemed fit to work.
Jonathan Collinge, 28, of Ilkeston who also suffers from ‘trigger finger’ in his right hand, is now preparing a case for the European Court of Human Rights after disability assessor Atos health care marked him as fit to work and a later appeal against this decision was refused.
Following his motorcycle accident seven years ago and the amputation of his left arm in 2008, Jonathan has found it difficult to find work.
As a result he was given incapacity benefit and disability living allowance but was later assessed by Atos after incapacity benefit was replaced by the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).
Currently on three different types of morphine, two types of painkiller, two inhalers, laxatives and with one arm, Atos still made the decision that Jonathan was fit to work.
He said: “They work on a points system and you have to get 15 to qualify - I got zero.
“I stated that I wanted to appeal against this decision in person but even this was taken away from me as they decided to appeal on my behalf with paper documentation in February without telling me.”
His ESA was later cut and he now receives just £21 per week from disability living allowance.
“I get child benefit for my five-year-old son Blake, but I refuse to use that on myself and make sure that he gets it,” he added.
Jonathan has been assisted by Stanley Ward Councillor, Linda McGraw who also runs the Derby Residents’ Advocacy Service.
The councillor said: “People’s perception of those who are on benefits has been coloured, in part, by the media, all the people I deal with don’t come across as people who don’t want to work.”
A spokeswoman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “Each individual is assessed based on what they can and cannot do in deciding whether or not they were fit for work.”
Read Jonathan’s full story in the Ilkeston Advertiser out on April 3.