Tommy Weir says the reference in his Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessment report to his left foot was either ‘gross incompetence or simply a lie’ because he doesn’t have a left foot.
A man who had his foot amputated because of a health condition has had his social security support cut after an assessor claimed a wound on his non-existent foot had “completely healed”.
Despite the evident error in the Department for Work and Pensions report, Tommy Weir’s £479 a month payments were immediately stopped last month.
Weir suffered from a bone infection which led to life-threatening sepsis and an eventual amputation of his leg under the knee in October 2017.
He was initially examined at his home and awarded a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) as he cannot walk without the aid of a prosthetic leg. Before becoming too ill to work, Weir was a swimming pool manager.
The assessment was carried out by Independent Assessment Services (IAS), previously known as ATOS.
Weir said, referring to the assessor’s later claim: “The reference to my left foot was either gross incompetence or simply a lie because I don’t have a left foot.
“I honestly believe I’m yet another case where IAS have quotas to fulfil that rely on refusing people’s applications for PIP or other benefits, no matter what kind of disability is put in front of them.”
In the IAS assessment, it is recorded in a “current symptoms” section that “the wound on his left foot has healed”.
Weir, who has worked at the local authority leisure centre in Renfrew for 35 years, said: “My employers have been great and they have made adaptations at work to allow me to do my job.
“I believe IAS takes the opposite view, that they are set up to take things away, not to help.”
A spokesperson from IAS last night apologised to Weir
The spokesperson said: “We are looking into this, we understand this was an error and would like to apologise to Mr Weir, as the wording should have read that his wound had healed.
“We are unable to say if his PIP will be reinstated as it is the DWP who will make that decision.”
A DWP spokesperson said: “PIP is awarded based on someone’s needs arising from a disability or health condition and those needs can change over time with rehabilitation or, in the case of amputees, with the use of prosthetics.
“Decisions are made following consideration of all the information provided, including any assessment report and supporting evidence from a GP or medical specialist. If someone disagrees with the decision, they can of course ask for it to be looked at again.
“Mr Weir has asked us to reconsider our decision and we will contact him as soon as we have looked at his case again.”
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