Carer to keep the job she loves after change of decision over mobility car
A carer who was moments away from handing in her notice after being told she would lose her mobility car has won her case.
Sandie Coulson was sitting in her car outside work and about to speak to her bosses when she got a call from her partner to say there was a message to make contact with the mobility car specialists.
The 56-year-old, who is paralysed down her left side after a stroke 20 years ago, had been told a change in her benefits meant she would no longer receive a payment which covers the weekly cost of the Ford Fiesta.
The part-time carer, who makes dozens of visits to people in their home each week, said she would not be able to afford the adapted vehicle and would be forced to give up the job she loves.
She also faced going back on other benefits if she had given up her role, with her work helping to get her out the house after suffering from depression.
The review by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) comes after the Gazette made contact over Sandie’s case.
She had been told her mandatory reconsideration had been unsuccessful, as had her appeal.
She will now be paid the £80-a-week payment through the enhanced element of her benefits.
Sandie, who lives with partner Brian Kelly, 56, and is mum to Kenneth Coulson, 34, and Hellen Coulson, 39, has worked as a carer for 10 years.
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“Brian rang and said there had been a message to say there had been some really good news.
“When I told everyone in the office I’d won my case, they all screamed and cheered.
“I’ve been in a right state.
“I wanted them to give me a medical so I could demonstrate what I could and couldn’t do.
“The car is my little bit of independence, it’s my social life and not just my job.
“There’s one woman I go to and I had to tell her I wouldn’t be coming back ans she was crying.
“I’m absolutely over the moon.”
Sandie was advised by welfare rights representatives based at the Hebburn Hub.
A spokeswoman for the DWP said: “We have carried out a review and that found that she should be able to retain the mobility car.”
She added the file had been called in for a quality assessment which looked over the information which had been provided by the claimant and her GP, along with an assessment.