Relying on DWP benefits for lifeline services can leave some claimants feeling like they’re walking on a tightrope, not knowing when the boundaries will be changed.
It is a concern for Teessiders battling life-limiting disabilities who are living with the threat of having their benefit payments reduced under a new Personal Independent Payment (PIP) scheme.
Those people receiving Disability Living Allowance (DLA) - which may include the use of a specially adapted car - are being reassessed, while being moved over to the new scheme.
Middlesbrough man Mark Tibbett was born with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita (AMC), which affects his joints and makes it difficult for him to walk, work or do things independently.
As a result, a specially-adapted car - granted by the DWP - was given to his family, and subsequently him, several years ago.
He says the vehicle proved a lifeline for him and essential for him to get around.
The automatic car, has an adapted steering wheel making it possible for him to use the indicators, lights and wipers.
The steering is also three times lighter than that of a standard vehicle.
Despite the rare disability, which caused his hands to not form properly, the 29-year-old is determined to work. He did not want to live a life on benefit.
He says his DWP stress started in November, when he was told that he would lose his vehicle. At the time the decision was made, Mark had been working in a call centre in Thornaby for high street bank Santander for around a month.
The reality of losing his car would mean having to leave his job, and possibly being forced to live on benefits.
Mark, who lives in the Scholar’s Rise area of Middlesbrough with his wife Stephanie, said:
Mark, originally from Grangetown, went through an appeal process that took two months.
The DWP decided to overturn the decision and Mark will now keep his car.
Using public transport is almost impossible, as Mark falls over easily and cannot get back up again unaided.
A DWP spokesman said: