Woman slams benefits chiefs

Suzanne Hallcup pictured with the letter from Jobcentreplus.
Suzanne Hallcup pictured with the letter from Jobcentreplus.

A WOMAN has slammed benefits bosses for axing her money and ruling she is fit for work despite her doctor saying she is mentally unwell.

Hartlepool woman Suzanne Hallcup says she has been on benefits for a year due to an injury to her knee.

But on June 22 she was asked to go for a medical assessment where a doctor tested her physical capability for work. Days later she received a letter ruling she was fit to get a job and that her entitlement would be stopped.

The 30-year-old contacted the Mail to say she has suffered with depression, anxiety and low moods since January and claims she currently has a sick note from her GP to prove it.

Suzanne said the benefits medic did not test her mental capability for employment and if he had he would have realised that she is not yet ready to get a job.

Former High Tunstall School pupil Suzanne, who lives at Portmadoc Walk, in the Throston area of Hartlepool, said: “I’m fed up, it’s knocking me back even more now.

“I’m angry and upset and I’m well stressed out, more than what I was in the first place.

“The doctor at this medical assessment made me walk up and down and then he checked my legs over. Then a couple of days later I got a letter saying I was fit for work and my money was going to be stopped.

“They might have checked me out physically, but not mentally.”

She added: “I eventually want to get a job like everybody does who’s unemployed, but I just don’t feel ready at the minute.”

A spokeswoman for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) said: “The Work Capability Assessment is designed to determine if people with a health problem or disability are able to work, while ensuring that those too sick to work get the help they need.

“If someone disagrees with their assessment, they have the right to appeal. Benefit payments can be made while the claim is under appeal, once the customer returns the form.”

Suzanne said she does intend to appeal against the decision.