Benefits battle help

Delma Gee suffers from agoraphobia and claims she is unable to attend an ESA interview.

Delma Gee suffers from agoraphobia and claims she is unable to attend an ESA interview.

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A RESORT MP has vowed to take the plight of an agoraphobic woman, who has found herself entangled in a benefits dispute, to the top.

As reported in The Gazette last week, 55-year-old Delma Gee, of Miller Street, South Shore, claims she has not left her house since she was attacked in the street two years ago.

But she has now been threatened with having her benefits cut after the Jobcentre repeatedly asked her to attend an interview – which she says she is unable to do due to her condition.

Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden says he now intends to investigate his constituent’s situation.

Mr Marsden said: “On the principles of the concerns she’s raised I’d be more than happy to take them up directly with the Department for Work and Pensions.

“I’ve been concerned, as people will know form the debate I held in Parliament last September, about the impact changes to the system were going to have on people who would be reviewed.

“This case is particularly unfortunate and appears to be some illustration of that.

“What puzzles me about this case is the principle that some people, who for whatever reason can’t get out, should be able to get interviewed from home.

“I hope this particular issue can be resolved quickly but this underpins the point that this is another aspect of the hasty way in which the Government has brought this system in.”

Ms Gee currently receives £164 every fortnight in benefits but that could be completely scrapped.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) says she has the right to appeal the decision until March 16.

The DWP has advised Ms Gee to provide evidence of her ailments in order to aid the appeal.

Ms Gee said she was pleased Mr Marsden had taken an interest in her case.

She said: “I can’t get out there but I’ve got a good network of friends to help me, and it’s encouraging that he wants to help me too.”

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