A DISABLED man has won his appeal against cruel benefits cuts that left him stranded without a car.
David Trotter – who has multiple sclerosis (MS) – lost his vehicle when a vital mobility payment was slashed by officials.
The 32-year-old, who needs crutches to walk, was told he was fit enough to take a bus from his home in Dalkeith, Midlothian, to his job 15 miles away in Livingston.
But David has had his payments reinstated after winning an appeal last week.
It came after the Record highlighted the IT worker’s case against the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in May.
David said: “From my point of view, it is a happy ending and the DWP are going to be doing what they are supposed to do.
“The most important part for me was to tell people to appeal these decisions.
“I have an old friend who had a motability car and he was in the same boat as me. They reduced the payments and he lost the car.
“He told me he wanted to appeal but felt too tired. I just hope the story encouraged other people to appeal and not let them get away with it.”
In May, DWP officials removed the “enhanced mobility” part of his Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – worth more than £200 a month. Assessors told David he was able to take the bus, despite his claims he was unable to walk 10 steps without pain.
Last week, he took his case to a first-tier tribunal to challenge the DWP’s decision.
He told the Record the panel – including a doctor – overturned the move within 30 minutes.
“It was mainly the doctor who asked me questions,” David said.
“The difference was, the things he asked me had nothing to do with the original assessment I had.
“He was more interested in the things I could and couldn’t do.
“After the hearing, I was told five minutes later they had overturned the original decision.
“Now they are to send off the information to the DWP to let them know they disagree with them.
“I think the DWP have about a month to appeal it. But to be honest, based on the questions the doctor asked and the evidence from the hospital, I don’t think there will be a chance they’ll try to get back to the way it was.
“I just have to wait until paperwork comes through.
“Then I can get myself a car and get back to work.”
David explained he has been only be able to work some hours from home as his appeal was pending.
He said: “Because I am mostly office based, there was only so much I could do without physically being at work.
“But there were still duties I could do from home. I managed to get a few hours a week – no more than 10.
“I’ve kept the job going. My work were fine to wait and see what happened with my appeal.
“As soon as I get my car, I can head back into work.”
Morna Simpkins, director for MS Society Scotland said: “We are delighted David has won his appeal.
“This decision has given David his independence back and means he can finally return to work.
“With over 11,000 people with MS in Scotland, our benefits system needs to be fairer for those with long term and sometimes invisible conditions like MS.”
She added: “Living with MS can cost someone an additional £200 per week, and benefits like enhanced mobility can enable people to work, live independently and get the most out of life.”
A DWP spokesperson said: “After providing the tribunal with additional medical evidence, Mr Trotter has now been found eligible for the enhanced mobility component.”
“Decisions on whether to award Personal Independence Payment are made following a face-to-face assessment and consideration of the medical evidence provided by the claimant.”