A Blackpool couple have won their battle to get their disability benefit restored but say they have endured a year of hell.
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Ron Lingham and his wife Susan, who has a range of chronic conditions, were hit when they were moved on to the Personal Indepenence Payments system.
The PIP system has been heavily criticised by opposition MPs and charities who say it is badly administered by private companies is too complex and the appeal system is taking too long.
Charities such as the Citizens Advice Bureaux and Disability First in Blackpool say they have been inundated with pleas for help from disabled people left without enough money to live on thanks to the change from Disability Living Allowance and other benefits to PIP.
Ron Lingham, 69 of St Chad’s Road and his wife Susan, 63 had their money slashed last year and have had to wait months for their appeal to be heard.
He said: “The whole experience has been appalling. The people who assessed us were said to be medical professionals but they were not doctors. They did not take my wife’s mental illness into account they did not accept evidence from our doctor.
“For the tribunal I had asked for representation but they lost my letter in their system and we had to face them alone.
“I can’t thank MP Gordon Marsden enough for his support. We have won our appeal and they are reinstating our allowance and back dating it, but the system is unfair.
“We have been through 11 months of hell, my wife was in tears when we got the letter saying we had won. It has really taken it out of us.
“Disabled people have the right to be treated with respect and entitled to a fair and honest examination by a proper, independent doctor.
“I just hope our experience inspires people to keep fighting the PIP system.”