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Barton cancer sufferer loses disabilty benefits appeal
A CANCER patient has lost an appeal against a cut to his disability benefit the same month he learned he could have his prostate removed.
Barton resident Paul Marlow — who has suffered from bladder cancer for 10 years — has lost his monthly £218 Disability Living Allowance.
The 56-year-old, a former caterer who served the Queen, was told last summer that he would no longer receive the benefit after a medical assessment.
He appealed the decision, but an independent tribunal hearing in Botley on January 23, found he did not qualify for the money for mobility and care needs.
Mr Marlow said: “It is absolutely disgusting. This cancer is not going to go away.”
He said he felt intimidated at the tribunal in front of the three judges, adding: “It felt as if I was sat there begging.”
The Stowford Road resident, who says he relies on the benefit, has had about 40 operations for tumours in his bladder since his diagnosis in 2003.
His next operation at the Churchill Hospital will be to take away part, or all of his, prostate after it became inflamed because of the problems caused by the cancer.
He said: “All this stress I think has caused the prostate problem.”
Mr Marlow also suffers from arthritis, the lung disease chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma.
He says he uses a mobility scooter and walking stick to get around.
But his income from benefits has now fallen from £990 to £772 a month – in fortnightly £386 income support payments.
Van Coulter, Labour Oxford City Council member for Barton and Sandhills, in September, told the Oxford Mail that the decision was “disgraceful” as Mr Marlow was “genuinely suffering”.
He added: “The cost of this austerity programme is to strip out the compassion from our welfare system.
“Here is an individual, wracked with pain – but a person who won't lie down and still cares and does what he can for his community.”
Oxford East MP Andrew Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions between 2002 and 2004, also said he would be happy to try to help Mr Marlow.
But Department for Work and Pensions spokesman, Stuart Woledge said: “We have looked into the details of this case and are satisfied the correct procedure has been followed.
“We consider a range of evidence when making a decision – including from the claimant’s GP.
“If people want to submit extra evidence then we will look at the case again. People also have a right to appeal if they are not happy with a decision.”
Mr Marlow worked as a caterer for 28 years in London before he moved to Oxford.
He worked at royal venues including Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and Clarence House.
He served the royal family, including the Queen, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and the Queen Mother.
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