Dad unable to walk since hit and run has benefits slashed as he’s ‘fit to work’
A dad who suffered devastating injuries in a hit and run has now had his benefits slashed after being told he's "fit to work".
Stuart Hill can't walk and has a huge metal frame clamped around his right leg following the attack a year ago.
The frame prevents the 32-year-old from being able to move around without crutches.
And he says he is unable to do the majority of everyday tasks like washing without the help of his partner Kirsty, 28.
Despite his desperate state the father-of-one recently received a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions saying he is "capable of doing work".
Stuart says he will be able to return to his old job, in a factory, once he's fully recovered but that the physical nature of it would cause him to re-injure his leg if he were to go back now.
Stuart had a compound fracture to his fibula and tibia when he was hit by a car in the early hours of July 8 last year.
He also need 30 stitches in his face as we a result of the collision.
Stuart, who is from Chorley, Lancs, had three operations on his leg and was kept in hospital for three weeks.
Having been kept away from his £24,000-a-year factory job since the incident Stuart has been dependant on Universal Credit.
But in April, following an assessment, he received a letter from the DWP saying that his monthly payments were being slashed £440 to £328.
His Employment and Support Allowance has been taken away completely.
Government officials say although Stuart may not be able to go back to his physical role as a factory worker, there are other jobs he could do.
Stuart said: "It's absolutely ridiculous.
"I can't even put my socks on properly let alone walk with this frame on.
"If I were to try and go out and about there's a high chance I'd end up seriously hurting myself.
"It's not that I don't want to work because I do.
"I was earning decent money and now I'm dependant on benefits and my partner.
"As soon as I'm fit to work again I will.
"I've worked all my adult life and paid my taxes so I feel like I should be looked after now."
Stuart said the frame will have to remain in place for at least the next six months.
A letter to him dated April 8, said: "We are writing to you because we have looked at your claim and decided we can’t pay you Employment and Support Allowance.
"This is because your Work Capability Assessment shows that although you may have a disability, illness or health condition, you’re now capable of doing some work.
"We realise this may not be the same type of work you’ve done before.
"But we can help you identify types of work you can do, taking into consideration any disability, illness or health condition you may have."
Stuart appealed the decision but the government department rejected his plea.
A DWP spokesman said: "Decisions for ESA are made based on all the information that’s available to us at the time, including evidence from a claimant’s GP or medical specialist.
"A review of Mr Hill's case has upheld the decision, but if someone disagrees with their assessment then they can appeal further to an independent tribunal.
"Mr Hill continues to be supported by the local job centre and is in receipt of Universal Credit benefits each month."
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