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Man says benefit cuts led to him losing his leg

David Boyce says he lost his leg to diabetes after his benefits were cut Credit: MEN

A diabetic man from Salford claims that cuts to his benefits led to him losing his leg. 54 year old David Boyce had to have his leg amputated when his condition spiralled out of control. It came after his benefits were halted for five months. He says this meant he couldn't eat properly which made his condition worse.

David says he got into a dispute with the Department for Work and Pensions about his jobseeker’s agreement and was sanctioned numerous times. He says his benefits were frozen 14 times because of issues with paperwork. In all, he says he went five months without payments. Campaigners eventually helped him win an appeal against the sanctions, but by July, complications from his type two diabetes had already caused irreversible damage.

David, from Weaste says he couldn’t control his insulin intake and was unable to follow his strict diabetic diet because he had no money. After he suffered diabetic ulcers and was diagnosed with the flesh-eating disease, necrotizing fasciitis, doctors were forced to amputate one of his legs. Now supporters are seeking compensation.

My health deteriorated, my foot swelled up and I got ulcers. In July, I went into hospital. Somewhere along the line, I contracted necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating bug, through the foot ulcer caused by my inability to sustain my diabetic diet. I suffered from depression and mental anxiety. I’m not a rich man. I had to sell everything to eat. You don’t tell anyone, it’s embarrassing, that’s what they prey on. You go into a depression. You lock yourself away.

– David Boyce
David says he couldn't follow his strict diabetic diet Credit: MEN

Sanctions are an important part of our benefits system and it is right that there is a system in place for tackling those few who do not fulfil their commitment to find work.

They are only used in a very small percentage of cases, and the number of sanctions has fallen substantially in the last year.

– Department for Work and Pensions Spokesman

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