A GIRL born with one hand was REFUSED disability payments by the DWP leaving her mother “struggling to live”.
Kacey Bailey-Clarke, 15, and her mother, Toni, 33, from Ilkeston, claim they’ve been “fighting” for years for the payments to be restored after they were stripped from her.
Kacey had been receiving £200 each month while her mother had been getting help with council tax as well as a top-up payment.
Now they have set up a Go-fund-me page for a hero 'Hero Arm' after being refused payments twice, including at a tribunal.
The multi-grip bionic arm will cost £4,450.
Toni told The Nottingham Post: “Kacey isn’t classed as disabled so we set up the fundraising page for her. I’m a single parent and I physically can’t afford to give my daughter what she deserves.
“She got DLA for about three years and then when I applied again, they refused it.
“I spent another year trying to appeal it and I went to a tribunal.
“For them to say she’s a normal teenager when you can physically see her disability is really upsetting.”
Toni says that after the payments were taken away she has been “living day to day.”
She said: “For the past year I’ve just given up fighting it. If Kacey had that £200 a month, at least £100 could go towards the new bionic arm. Little things like that would really help.
“It’s one less thing for her to get picked on for. She had to stop her kickboxing classes when the money was taken away as I couldn’t afford it.
“I’m struggling to live day to day. It really has been horrendous, I don’t think it is fair at all.
“I want to give Kacey what she wants as she has been bullied and it has knocked her confidence.”
The bionic arm will help Kacey, who loves snowboarding, boxing and mountain biking, to be more active and confident.
Kacey said: “I do try my best to stay confident but there are definitely times where I think about what it would be like if I had two hands and how different that would be.
What to do if you have problems claiming Universal Credit
IF you're experiencing trouble applying for your Universal Credit, or the payments just don't cover costs, here are your options:
- Apply for an advance – Claimants are able to get some cash within five days rather than waiting weeks for their first payment. But it's a loan which means the repayments will be automatically deducted from your future Universal Credit payout.
- Alternative Payment Arrangements – If you're falling behind on rent, you or your landlord may be able to apply for an APA which will get your payment sent directly to your landlord. You might also be able to change your payments to get them more frequently, or you can split the payments if you're part of a couple.
- Budgeting Advance – You may be able to get help from the Government for emergency household costs of up to £348 if you're single, £464 if you're part of a couple or £812 if you have children. These are only in cases like your cooker breaking down or for help getting a job. You'll have to repay the advance through your regular Universal Credit payments. You'll still have to repay the loan, even if you stop claiming for Universal Credit.
- Cut your Council Tax – You might be able to get a discount on your Council Tax by applying for a Council Tax Reduction. Alternatively, you might be entitled to Discretionary Housing Payments to help cover your rent.
- Foodbanks – If you're really hard up and struggling to buy food and toiletries, you can find your local foodbank who will provide you with help for free. You can find your nearest one on the Trussell Trust website.
"The new arm would help with cooking food, it would make chopping and peeling ten times easier.
"It would really help with putting on make-up too. Mostly it would help with my confidence, I try to hide one arm a lot without realising – but I'm not ashamed of it, I'm proud of it and want it to be a cool thing.
“It's one of those things you’ve got to try and be confident about because if it makes you insecure then it will be more difficult."
A DWP spokesperson said: “Our priority is for disabled children to get the support they are entitled to and decisions are made following consideration of all the information provided, including supporting evidence from a GP or medical specialist.
“If someone disagrees with a decision then they have the right to ask for a review followed by an independent appeal.
"In some cases, as children get older, the level of support they need can change and if at a later stage they develop personal care or mobility needs then a new claim can be requested at any time before their 16th birthday.
“Following that, a claim to Personal Independence Payment can be made.”
The DWP said it has reviewed the case twice.
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