A DISABLED York man has been told he no longer needs a mobility car despite an agonising condition - because he managed to haul himself into his wheelchair during a benefits assessment.

Stephen Scott says he was lying on the floor to ease his pain before dragging himself with his arms into a wheelchair and then onto an examination couch.

He said he cannot walk because of an aggressive strain of arthritis, and was stunned by the removal of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) funding for his Motability car.

A Department of Works and Pensions (DWP) benefits assessor, explaining the decision, told him: “Informal observations showed you were able to transfer independently from a laying position on the floor into your wheelchair, and from your wheelchair onto the examination couch, indicating good range of movement and power in your lower limbs.

“There was no evidence of lower limbs muscle wastage and you reported you were able to drive to your consultation.

“I decided you can stand and then move using an aid or appliance more than 20 metres but no more than 50 metres.”

Mr Scott, 52, of The Groves, said: “I cannot understand the logic of this decision. I have been diagnosed as suffering from severe depression and given strong anti-depressants, and decisions like this are not helping.”

Mr Scott said he was in constant agony because of a severe form of arthritis linked to psoriasis and had to spend much of the day lying flat on his back, dosed up with huge amounts of morphine. He said there was no way he could work.

His consultant rheumatologist said in a letter in 2014 that he was in "severe pain and significantly disabled" and Mr Scott said his condition had worsened massively since then.

The Press reported in 2015 how Mr Scott had been told he would lose his mobility car before a U-turn by Government officials.

Days after The Press made inquiries about his case to the DWP in 2015, he received a letter telling him the decision had been reversed and he could keep the car after all, and he thanked the paper for taking up his case.

A DWP spokeswoman said on Friday that an assessment by a qualified healthcare professional had determined that Mr Scott did not qualify for the higher rate of the mobility component of PIP, adding: “Anyone who disagrees with their assessment can appeal to an independent tribunal.”

She added that 30 per cent of PIP claimants received the highest rate of support, compared to 15 per cent under the previous Disability Living Allowance benefit.

“Anyone who disagrees with a decision can appeal, and additional one-off payments are available."

Victory in second benefits battle

Stephen Scott has won a separate benefits battle within 24 hours of The Press raising his case with the DWP.

Mr Scott was told in April he was considered capable of working and he would no longer be entitled to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

He revealed last Thursday that he had appealed against this decision, and it had finally gone to a tribunal which was held on October 18.

 The tribunal upheld the appeal, concluding he had limited capability for work related activity and saying the matter would now be referred to the Secretary of State to make a final decision on his entitlement to ESA.

Mr Scott said that despite this tribunal decision, he had still received no ESA or any communication as to the DWP’s decision.  He said that when he had contacted DWP, he had just been told no decision had been taken.

Mr Scott said that on Friday, he received a communication from the DWP saying he would be receiving the benefit, and he had no doubt this was due to The Press raising his case just 24 hours earlier.

A DWP spokesperson said: “We have apologised for the error relating to Mr Scott’s Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and have paid him the full benefits he was owed.  “Mr Scott continues to receive all of the support he is entitled to through Universal Credit and his additional Personal Independence Payment (PIP).”