Stevenage woman with crippling condition has lifeline benefits stopped
- Credit: Archant
A former professional dancer who says a chronic hip condition means she now can’t even dress herself says she can’t afford to eat after her benefits were stopped without warning.
Jayde Chambers – of Lapwing Rise in Stevenage – has multiple joint problems, including hip dysplasia, laberal tear, twisted hip and thigh bones and hypermobility.
She said: “I’ve torn the cartilege in my hip joint and every time I move I’m doing more damage and I’m in incredible pain.
“Apparently I was born with the hip problems and, because I was dancing and had such an active lifestyle, it sped up their development. Now my hip is completely destroyed and it’s disintegrating.”
Jayde says she worked as a professional dancer from the age of nine, but had to give up her dream career when she was 14 due to her hip.
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She said: “I’m 21 and I can’t even dress myself. I’m due to have major surgery – the doctors want to break my thigh bones and trim down the cartilege and put everything back in place. I’ll need to learn to walk again and it will take six years to fully recover.”
Jayde says she has monthly appointments at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital and has had multiple procedures since she was 13.
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She had been receiving Employment Support Allowance but has now been told her payments have been stopped immediately because the Department for Work and Pensions believe she is fit to work.
Jayde said: “I love working. I used to have three jobs at once. If I could be working, doing anything, I would, but I’m struggling so much.
“I’m in pain all the time – it never stops. I can’t sit or stand for too long and I don’t go out.
“The medication I’m on has destroyed my stomach. I’ve been addicted to morphine because I have been on it year after year.
“I’m off my face on painkillers and I spend every day in my flat.”
She added: “The ESA of about £300 a month is all I have got. They have stopped it without warning and I don’t know if I will be able to eat next week. I have already lost my flat and I’m really struggling. The way I’m being treated is horrific.”
A DWP spokesman said: “Decisions for ESA are made following consideration of all the information provided by the claimant, including supporting evidence from their GP or medical specialist. Anyone who disagrees with a decision can appeal.”