A woman with terminal cancer says she was forced to walk to an emergency doctor’s appointment on crutches - after she was deemed too healthy for a mobility car.
Tracey Mills, 53, from Mossley, Greater Manchester, was previously granted a vehicle through Disability Living Allowance (DLA) after she was diagnosed with a brain tumour several years ago.
But when a new assessment was carried out after the government’s new Personal Independence Payment (PIP) came into force, Tracey’s disability benefits were reduced.
She was found to be too fit to qualify for a car, so the automatic Ford Focus she relied on to get around was taken away.
In June she appealed the decision and resubmitted medical forms, but has not yet had a response.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said it could not comment on individual cases, but added that anyone who is terminally ill can have their claim ‘fast-tracked’.
Tracey’s condition has deteriorated and she has been relying on friends and neighbours for lifts to her many appointments.
Alongside stage three cancer, she was recently diagnosed with renal failure, a tumour in her nose, arthralgia and hypertension.
She needs crutches, walking frames and special rails placed in her house to get about.
On one occasion she told how she was forced to walk to an emergency doctor’s appointment for an urgent blood test using her crutches due to lack of transport.
Neighbours and friends have been transporting her to appointments at Tameside Hospital and Oldham Hospital, but it has been around 10 months since she left the house properly.
She says being able to get out of the house and enjoy a change of scenery would be a welcome relief.
Tracey, a former dental nurse, said:
“My ambition is to see Blackpool lights, I just want to see the lights, the waxworks and have fish and chips.
Mobility cars can be claimed if a disabled person receives the highest rate of PIP.
Once an assessment has been carried out and the PIP is granted, mobility cars are distributed by the charity Motability - but Tracey no longer qualifies.
It’s not yet known when her appeal against the PIP decision will be made.
A DWP spokesperson said they could not comment on individual cases, but added:
“We’re determined to ensure that people with health conditions get the support they’re entitled to.