Search

Romford cancer survivor Malcolm Graham still waiting eight months after applying for benefit

17:59 16 June 2014

Malcolm Graham has been left to struggle finacially for about eight months while he waits to find out whether he will get PIP, a new govenment scheme of disability benefit.

Malcolm Graham has been left to struggle finacially for about eight months while he waits to find out whether he will get PIP, a new govenment scheme of disability benefit.

Archant

A cancer survivor is “struggling” after being left in the lurch eight months after applying for financial support.

The Report’s findings

Patients are waiting an average of 19 weeks

56 pc found their finances took a hit

40 pc were unable to adequately heat their homes

34 pc felt the delays had resulted in mental health problems such as anxiety or depression

Malcolm Graham, 56, of Oak Street, Romford, applied for the disability benefit Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in October after being diagnosed with oesophageal cancer.

Since then he has been surviving on Employment Support Allowance (ESA) of just £71 a month, having undergone an assessment for the benefit on May 16.

A report released today by charity Macmillan Cancer Support claims Malcolm could be one of at least 4,500 cancer patients who have waited six months or more to find out if they would receive the benefit.

He said: “I was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in September, just weeks after I was made redundant.

“This meant that as well as concerns about my health, I was very worried about how I would cope financially.

“My local Macmillan benefits advisor told me about PIP and helped me to apply in October 2013.

PIP replaces the Disability Living Allowance, and includes face-to-face assessments and regular reviews.

Malcolm underwent a successful 10-hour operation in March to remove the tumour and four-fifths of his stomach, and is now in remission.

But he faces a long road to recovery, and suffers from blood clots on his lungs which leave him out of breath.

“This causes a lot of stress that I could really do without when I’m trying to get over major treatment and surgery,” he said.

“I am struggling with bills. Due to the type of cancer I had, I need to eat specialist food and I struggle to even afford that.”

A spokesman for the Department of Work and Pensions said the Waiting for Benefits report, conducted by IFF Research, should be “treated with caution.”

He said: “Macmillan’s report is based on a very small sample size using over-simplified calculations.

“The truth is that claims for terminally ill people are fast-tracked under PIP and statistics show over 99pc of people with terminal illnesses who have applied have been awarded the benefit.”

0 comments

Comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

Troy Townsend and June Kelly posing with England manager Roy Hodgson (right) during the FA 150th Anniversary Gala Dinner at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London.

Claims teenage footballers were subjected to “monkey actions and noises” during a match are being investigated by FA chiefs.

Yesterday, 15:00
Musk turtles sold by Tisburys Aquatic Centre

They inspire terror in wayward ducklings, are a menace for anglers and can live for decades. What’s more they’ve made Havering home.

Yesterday, 12:00
Performing arts teacher Elaine Spires, at the Stages Studio, The Mercury, Mercury Gardens, Romford,

She’s an author, a screen writer, an actress, a performing arts teacher, a playwright and now the director of this year’s pantomime at the Brookside Theatre in Romford.

Most read news

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

News from your area

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition

The final GP in the UAE may not have been a thriller, but it did kind of sum up the season for a lot of drivers.

Protesters have been warned they are banned from setting up camp at the landmark.

John Cantlie features in the new IS video, in which he talks about a recent failed military attack.

From Britain First’s Facebook posts, you would assume they’d won the Rochester by-election. They didn’t, but they’re claiming it anyway.