Thomas O’Donnell, who suffers from epilepsy, depression, arthritis and memory loss became suicidal because of the delays, his local MP said
A disabled man was left with malnutrition after waiting EIGHT MONTHS for benefits he was due.
The shocking case of Thomas O’Donnell was revealed in Parliament by Liverpool MP Luciana Berger, who said she was “ashamed” to live in a country where desperately ill people are facing serious delays in getting help.
She told how Mr O’Donnell suffered from epilepsy, depression, arthritis and memory loss – yet was made to wait eight months for his Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
The payment is intended to cover the additional costs claimants face because of their condition, such as taxi fares to hospital, higher utility bills, or specialist equipment.
Ms Berger said: “Thomas O’Donnell originally made his claim for PIP in August 2013. The months went on without him getting an assessment, and he fell into real financial difficulty.
“He was struggling to pay his rent, and he couldn’t afford his bills. By time he came to me in March of this year, Thomas was suicidal.
“Eight months on and he was still waiting for a decision. His epilepsy was causing him to have daily, violent fits, and he was surviving on just £30 a week.
“He didn’t have cooking or washing facilities in his home. And he didn’t have any food.
“After months of helping Mr O’Donnell navigate an impossible system and raising his case on the floor of this House, he was eventually awarded the money that he was entitled to.
“But eight months of waiting and the hardship and strain had taken its toll – his doctor confirmed that he was suffering from malnutrition…
“I am appalled that my constituent was suffering from malnutrition here in the United Kingdom in 2014.”
She also revealed the case of her constituent Trudie Ann Birchall who was forced to wait five months for her PIP payments after being diagnosed with cervical cancer, the Liverpool Echo reports.
She added: “Since the introduction of PIP, thousands of cancer patients have been left in the dark, with at least 4,500 cancer patients waiting six months or more to find out whether they will even be awarded the benefit.”