Shelton man Chris Cann asked to prove he is unfit for work- despite leg amputations
A GRIEVING widower who has had both his legs amputated has been told he needs to prove he is not fit enough to work.
Chris Cann has been left housebound after losing both legs above the knee and a finger to diabetes.
The 57-year-old has chronic arthritis in both hands and is also struggling to come to terms with the death of his partner of 11 years, Emma Wilson, earlier this month.
But in order to receive the new Employment and Support Allowance, Mr Cann has been ordered to undergo stringent medical tests which he believes will be a waste of time and money.
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An assessment four years ago before he was confined to a wheelchair found he was unfit to work.
Mr Cann, of Cauldon Road, Shelton, said: “It seems a pointless task to me because I am already classed as a triple amputee by social services. It is a waste of time.
“Four years ago I was unfit to work and my health has deteriorated a lot since then. Even if I could get down there they will take one look at me and say I am unfit for work.
“I am very obviously disabled so I don’t see what tests they have to do. They are just making me jump through hoops.”
The Department of Works and Pensions (DWP) made an appointment for him at Atos Healthcare Stoke Assessment Centre on Festival Park for August 24 – just 15 days after he had his right leg amputated at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire.
His left leg was removed in January after he developed ulcers.
If he is deemed fit to work, Mr Cann, who was diagnosed with diabetes six years ago, says he faces losing around £600 a month in benefits.
Mr Cann, who spent 30 years working in the fast food industry, said: “I am housebound and on my own. They expect me to get a taxi which will cost me £10 each way but I can’t really do that without help.
“I can’t even get upstairs to turn the heating on so how do they expect me to go to all these places? If they insist I need these tests, then at least they could do them at my home.
“I do try to take things as they come but it has been a very hard time for me with losing my legs and Emma.”
“The added pressure of the appointment is not what I need.”
The DWP’s Work Capability Assessment are a part of the Government’s reforms to incapacity benefits.
A spokesman added: “The old system simply wrote too many people off without looking at what they were able to do.
“If someone can no longer do the job they used to do, the Work Capability Assessment looks at what other kinds of work they may be able to do.”
Atos Healthcare said Mr Cann should provide a doctor’s note to request a home visit.
A spokesman added: “We are happy to provide home visits to those who are unable to leave their home. These are based on an individual’s personal circumstances.”