A CANCER patient from Burton has been unable to receive any financial support for her illness – despite putting in the correct applications more than six months ago.
Laura Dunn, 23, was diagnosed with bone cancer in June last year.
With the help of her social worker, she filled in the application for her Person Independence Payment (PIP) in December 2013, while she was recovering in hospital following an operation to remove part of her pelvis.
Laura said: “Sometimes I think that if it wasn’t for me doing all of the chasing and making all of the phone calls, they would probably forget about me.
“I’m in and out of hospital so I don’t feel great when I come home, so having to chase them up isn’t top of my priorities because I’m just hoping to get better.”
PIP was implemented in April 2013 to replace Disability Living Allowance, following changes in the Welfare Reform Act.
Under the conditions of PIP, Laura was forced to endure her illness for three months before even being able to qualify to apply for the benefit.
According to members of CLIC Sargent, a cancer charity that supports Laura, young people with cancer have been reporting long delays in the processing of their claims since the new benefit started last year.
CLIC Sargent has regularly noticed the same problem occurring since PIP’s implementation, to the point that committee members at the charity have slated PIP as ‘nothing short of a fiasco.’
Liz North, CLIC Sargent director of communications and campaigning, said: “Many young people with cancer supported by us have reported waiting months to hear the outcome of their PIP claim, during which time they have received no financial support. For a young person undergoing gruelling treatment this may have a significant impact.”
Laura added: “Before I was diagnosed I worked five days a week at Toyota.
“Now my mum has to work three jobs to support us both.
“I feel so sorry for people in my position who haven’t got family to help them out.
“I’m lucky that I’m living with my mum who can help support me financially.
“If I was renting I would probably be homeless by now.”