Caerphilly mother who had brain tumour removed sees benefits reduced
News | | Published: 17:00, Wednesday December 6th, 2017.
A mother who suffers excruciating headaches after an operation to remove a brain tumour has had her benefits cut by the UK Government.
Sharron Jones, from Caerphilly, had a malignant brain tumour removed 20 years ago and has suffered from severe headaches and back and neck pain ever since.
She is unable to walk for any distance and she suffers from seizures and short-term memory loss. Sharron is dependent on her family for help with day-to-day tasks.
Over the past few years, during which her condition has not improved, Ms Jones has been in receipt of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). Until recently she had been placed in the Support Group for ESA.
However, the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has since placed her in the Work Related Activity Group, meaning she could be deemed fit to work at some point.
Ms Jones says she was informed of the category change in a letter from the DWP, and told ITV Wales: “I get up in the morning, and the pain is always there, constantly. I also forget a lot and can get a bit confused.
“I just couldn’t believe it. At the end of the day I haven’t worked for 20 years. I’ve been on the ESA and then to get a letter saying you’re going to be fit to work at some point, recognising that I had problems, and yet they’ve taken my money off me and I just couldn’t understand why.”
The decision has left Ms Jones around £40 a fortnight worse off since August 2016, and as such means she can not apply for other forms of support.
Ms Jones’ case was highlighted by Caerphilly MP, Wayne David, in the House of Commons on Wednesday, November 29.
Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr David asked Deputy Prime Minister Damian Green – who was standing in for the absent Theresa May – to justify the reduction of benefit allowance.
Mr Green responded by confirming he would ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, David Gauke, to look into the case.
Caerphilly MP, Wayne David, said: “This is a serious issue and it highlights the callous nature of government policy.
“The government’s benefit policy is all about making cuts and the people who are suffering are some of the weakest and most vulnerable in our society. Sharron has my full support and I will continue to fight her corner.”