...even though it was for MoD

Bangor Mail - - FRONT PAGE -

AMAN left paral­ysed was re­fused dis­abil­ity ben­e­fit be­cause he’d lived abroad - even though he was work­ing for the govern­ment while he was over there.

Mike Plumb, 56, was di­ag­nosed with Guil­lain-Barre syn­drome, which left him un­able to move his arms or legs.

Be­fore that he’d worked for five years at the Mil­i­tary Court Cen­tre Sen­nelager, Ger­many, for the Min­istry of De­fence (MOD).

But when he came to ap­ply for Per­sonal In­de­pen­dence Pay­ments (PIP) on his re­turn to An­gle­sey, he was told he wasn’t el­i­gi­ble – be­cause he’d worked abroad for more than 12 months.

Mr Plumb, who re­turned to live in Star with his wife and daugh­ter in Feb­ru­ary, said: “When I called to re­quest a claim form I ex­plained that I had been liv­ing away for five years work­ing for the MOD but was still pay­ing UK tax and na­tional in­sur­ance and I was told this wouldn’t cause any prob­lems.

“On Oc­to­ber 13 I re­ceived a let­ter say­ing my ap­pli­ca­tion was un­suc­cess­ful be­cause I’d been liv­ing over­seas, even though I was still con­tribut­ing to the UK econ­omy and was liv­ing at British Forces postal ad­dress.

“I called them back to com­plain and the per­son on the phone told me I was en­ti­tled to claim so my ap­pli­ca­tion was re­sub­mit­ted.

“That was six weeks ago and they’ve made no ef­fort to con­tact me since, so I called them two weeks ago and was told that they’re still in the process of mak­ing a de­ci­sion on whether I can make a PIP claim.

“It doesn’t seem like they re­ally know what is go­ing on.”

The father of one says he is now “very con­cerned” be­cause his in­come is due to drop by half within the next four weeks.

The De­part­ment for Work and Pen­sions said: “We have been in con­tact with Mr Plumb to apol­o­gise and dis­cuss his claim, which we are look­ing at again.”

Amelia Shaw

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