Terminally ill Northampton woman denied benefits to have case reviewed by the Government

A terminally ill cancer patient from Northampton who was refused a disability benefit is to have her case reviewed by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Tuesday, 5th April 2016, 6:30 am
Jane Windle has terminal cancer but has been assessed by the government as fit to work - despite receiving disability benefit for the last 15 years. Jane is pictured with her husband William. NNL-160316-122433009

Jane Windle, from Parkwood Street, St James, was first diagnosed with a carcinoid form of cancer in 2001 and has tumours in her lungs and pelvis.

But last month it was revealed the 52-year-old would not be entitled to receive the Personal Independent Payment (PIP) even though she has been receiving the Disability Living Allowance, which PIP is phasing out, since she got ill.

Assessors said she was capable of walking 200 metres unaided, even though Mrs Windle has difficulty simply standing up.

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But she has now learned the Department for Work and Pensions has agreed to review her case after she supplied the Government with a letter from her GP - known as a DS 1500 form - proving the extent of her illness.

Her and husband William, now face an agonising wait of at least three weeks to see if the appeal has been successful, they have been told.

After that the case may even have to be decided by a tribunal, or Mrs Windle might need to be re-assessed by the firm Capita, both of which will extend her wait further.

Mrs Windle said: “The stress is just awful.

“Like so many people we are wondering how we are going to pay the bills.

“If I could work I would work, but I can’t. I worked before I got ill and I had a life.”

When husband William spoke to the Chron on March 14, he said he would welcome the opportunity to meet face-to-face with then Welfare Secretary Iain Duncan-Smith.

But only days after the Windles’ story featured in five national newspapers, the secretary of state resigned because he said a further £4 billion of planned cuts to welfare in last month’s budget were “indefensible” - when the same budget proposed tax breaks for higher earners.

As of the end of this week Jane Windle will no longer receive Disability Living Allowance, so until the appeal is decided they will have to live on £200 less a week.

Mr Windle has also been stripped of his carers’ allowance.

He said: “The situation is not nice, but Jane has battled cancer for 15 years, we have had tough times and we have always pulled through. We will just have to find a way to get through this.”