One-armed motorcycle crash victim is deemed fit enough to work

"I can't apply for so many jobs because of my disability. They've left me in a real bind."

A MOTORCYCLIST who lost his arm in a motorbike accident has been deemed fit to work.

Jonathan Collinge, of Derbyshire, lost his arm in the accident seven years ago and has since been considered fit to work by disability assessor Atos. The 28-year-old has appealed against this decision only to have it refused.

Collinge was supported by incapacity benefit and disability living allowance but was later assessed by Atos during the introduction of the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), which replaced incapacity benefit.

Atos said I was fit to work even though I’m on morphine and have one arm. I appealed saying I wanted to deal with it in person but they made the decision to cut my ESA in February behind my back.” Said Collinge.

“I can’t claim jobseekers Allowance and I can’t apply for so many jobs because of my disability. They’ve left me in a real bind.”

According to a spokeswoman for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), each individual is assessed on what they can and can’t do in deciding whether or not they’re fit for work.

Collinge explained that the £21 he receives each week as part of his disability living allowance simply isn’t enough: “That’s what they’re expecting me to live on. I have the child benefit for my son, Blake, but that’s his money and I’ll only use it for him.”

Linda McGraw, who runs the Derby Resident’s advocacy Service, has been helping Mr Collinge through his ordeals with the DWP.

She said: “I’ve supported Jonathan for some time and he’s jumped through every hoop there is. He’s been treated appallingly by the system.

“All the people I deal with don’t come across as people who don’t want to work. They are all very humble people who are entitled to and deserving of that benefit. All of them are willing to give something back to their community as well.”