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Fighting back: Outrage over disabled man who lost leg in illegal benefit sanctions leads to £30k Salford campaign


Salford’s Unemployed & Community Resource Centre are launching a bid to help the thousands of people stung by unlawful benefit sanctions.

Back in June, SalfordOnline.com reported how one Salford worker who illegally had his out-of-work benefits axed had been refunded by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

In 2012 Simon Milne had his Jobseekers Allowance stopped for four weeks, without notice.

It left him in such a poor state that he was unable to buy food, let alone to pay for travel to get to job interviews.

The stories we’re now hearing from SUCRC are even more heartbreaking.

The centre says that David (pictured) had his benefits repeatedly sanctioned by Jobcentre Plus officials.

This resulted in him being unable to control his diabetes because he had no money for food.

This caused diabetic ulcers which became infected and he had to have a leg amputated.

All his sanctions were eventually overturned, but it was too late.

Read: ‘Devastating’ benefit sanctions force crisis, hunger and despair, says latest Salford report

“The ancient legal principle that the Government is not above the law is being flouted by the DWP,” says centre manager Alec McFadden.

“Other cases of illegal benefits sanctions we are fighting include claimants with learning disabilities, mental health problems and physical impairments.

“Many have had their benefits stopped for being unable to get to totally unsuitable appointments.

“The imposition of unachievable requirements by the DWP, and then the removal of benefits for being unable to meet such requirements, breaches the Equality Act and a set of legal principles governing the way public bodies should behave.”

More: Benefit sanction test case? DWP refund £300 to Salford worker stung by ‘illegal’ ruling

Now Salford Unemployed & Community Resource Centre are launching a £30,000 crowdfunding campaign to make sure they can keep their advice centre open and continue to help victims of benefit sanctions to fight back.

Last year they recovered £507,393 for claimants and the centre supports over 500 people to get their benefits reinstated annually.

Alec said: “We have launched a Crowdfunding page to ask people to make a contribution to fighting David’s case and others like him to force the DWP to end its current practice of illegally removing benefits from sick and disabled people.

“Any pledge of support is appreciated. If you can’t afford a donation, just saying you support support ending illegal benefits stoppages would be hugely welcome.”

You can donate or support at this JustGiving page.

A 38 degrees petition has been launched online here

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Tom Rodgers

Tom is SalfordOnline.com's News Editor and community co-ordinator.