Brain op man told to return to work
Published 02/08/2010 | 15:57
A man has received an apology after his benefits were stopped by officials who he claims told him he was well enough to return to work just days after having brain surgery.
Bryan Haigh, 50, from Leeds, underwent the major operation to remove a tumour from his brain on July 20. He said bosses at the Department for Work and Pensions decreed in a letter dated July 22 that he was officially fit to work and they could stop his £65-a-week benefits.
But a spokeswoman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: "Having reviewed the case, we have arranged for Mr Haigh's Employment and Support Allowance to continue. We have contacted him to apologise and inform him of his future payments. If anyone is unhappy with a benefit decision they should get in touch with Jobcentre Plus, and we will look at it again."
Speaking before the department reversed its decision, Mr Haigh, from Leeds, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: "When the letter came I just couldn't believe it. I do want to work but at the moment I just can't. I have worked practically non-stop since I left school and now I need a little bit of help, I feel like I have been kicked in the teeth.
"I'm just baffled because of course there are people out there claiming benefits who shouldn't be. But I really do think they are picking on the wrong person this time."
Doctors discovered the tumour last December and as it was benign they decided to leave it in place until this summer.
The operation was scheduled for July 20 at Leeds General Infirmary.
Days beforehand he was called to a benefits review panel when, he said, he explained his forthcoming treatment.
He said he was stunned to receive a letter after he returned from hospital, telling him his benefits were being axed.