Emmanuel College student Anna Ward’s “unacceptable” treatment at the hands of the Department for Work and Pensions was raised by Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner in the House of Commons today. Following his intervention the Government minister was forced to apologise.
The undergraduate who is studying Modern and Medieval Languages, has spent nearly six months battling for Personal Independence Payment.
She has recently had two home assessments cancelled with less than 48 hours notice and when Mr Zeichner complained he was told by Atos that there were ‘no appointments available’ for applicants in the Cambridge area who require a home visit.
Speaking in the Commons Mr Zeichner said: “My constituent Anna Ward has been waiting five months for a PIP home assessment, but it has been cancelled twice at very short notice. Atos tells me that currently there are no appointments for home visits available in the Cambridge area. In any other walk of life, that would be totally unacceptable, so why do the Government think it is okay to treat disabled people so badly?”
Following the exchange in the Commons Mr Zeichner received an apology and confirmation of a date for Ms Ward’s home visit.
Daniel Zeichner MP said: “While I am pleased at the outcome, it shouldn’t take an MP asking questions in the Commons to sort out this kind of incompetence which leads to financial and mental stress for disabled people just trying to get on.”