Universal credit: Blind wheelchair-bound man has to repeatedly prove he can’t work

David Torrance with Adam and Lynne. Picture: George McLuskie
David Torrance with Adam and Lynne. Picture: George McLuskie

The mother of a severely disabled teenager has told of her frustration at Universal Credit for having to prove her son is unfit for work.

Lynne Scott’s son Adam is blind, wheelchair-bound, can’t communicate and must be fed through a tube.

Yet, with the introduction of Universal Credit Adam (18) will have to prove annually he is unfit for employment.

Adam was ordered to attend an interview at Kirkcaldy Job Centre. But Lynne was afterwards asked to show provide further proof.

She said: “We were contacted not long after the interview to say they needed proof of his disability, even though they’d met him.”

Lynne then had to fill in forms stating how much Adam earned through employment, get a sick note from a doctor, and may need to attend another assessment.

Lynne said: “He has to jump through all these hoops. It’s very offensive and very upsetting. We shouldn’t have to keep going over Adam’s condition and we shouldn’t have to keep going through this. It’s just not acceptable.”

The issue was raised in the Scottish Parliament by Kirkcaldy MSP David Torrance.

He said: “The number of people contacting my office regarding problems with benefits has dramatically increased.

“Families are being dragged into poverty and debt as a result of sanctions and extended delays in receiving benefits.

“Cases such as Adam’s really highlight the unfairness and inequality of this cruel system.

“An estimated 600,000 households in Scotland will be reliant on Universal Credit once it’s rolled out, but statistics show that only 54 per cent of all Universal Credit claimants in the UK were able to apply online independently, this system is neither fair nor accessible.

“This means that a terrifying number of people are going to be pushed further into poverty and hardship over the coming months unless this unworkable and shameful welfare system is scrapped immediately.”