A disabled woman who has had her benefits cut fears she may lose her house – and said the Government has drained her pride away.
Ruth Way’s disabilities include arthritis and a crumbling spine. She also has anxiety and depression which she said has left her ‘rotting’ at home.
The 42-year-old from Anson Road, Goring, was told by the Department for Work and Pensions that she was fit for work from July 16 – a decision she has appealed.
As a result, she said her housing benefit and council tax reductions have stopped, meaning she will not be able to afford her rent and her 14 prescriptions.
She said: “I’m angry with the Government because I feel like they are picking on the wrong people.
“They say they are all into helping people with mental health problems, but mine have doubled after what they have put me through. Now I’m a complete wreck.
What I used to be compared to what I am now is patheticRuth Way
“I feel I have no pride or anything; they have drained it away. What I used to be compared to what I am now is pathetic.”
Her brother Mark Saunders was blind and had a leg amputated due to diabetes and needed kidney dialysis. He died in 2013, soon after being told he was fit for work.
Now Ruth said she is having to fight for her benefits too. The former nurse wrote to the Department for Work and Pensions to say she could not attend a compulsory medical exam earlier this year, because no-one could accompany her. She said they did not receive the letter, so her Employment and Support Allowance was stopped – leading to her current predicament.
Her 17-year-old twins Aleysha and Abbie have been caring for their mother since they were 10. Aleysha said: “It is disgusting that they take benefits off people that aren’t visibly disabled – but it is obvious that she is because of the amount of pills she is taking.”
Ruth worked until she was 30, when she was admitted to hospital because her back pain had worsened.
Since then, she has been registered as disabled.
To those out there that think all people on benefits are lazy, Ruth had this to say: “I think you get very judged with an illness that is internal, and I want to say to people: try taking medications three times a day, stuck in a house. People are so judgemental and that is half the reason I’m so anxious.
“I never wanted to be on benefits; but they are going to the wrong people.”
A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: “Decisions for ESA are made following consideration of all the information provided by the claimant, including supporting evidence from their GP or medical specialist.
“As we never received Ms Way’s information, her initial claim was closed. We’re in touch with Ms Way to discuss her case.”