Severely disabled teenager who is fed through a tube and can’t walk or talk is forced to travel 25 miles for a ‘fit for work’ interview
- Aaron Faulkner, 19, was born with rare unbalanced chromosome translocation
- His mother Joanne, 43, applied for Universal Credit when he left his school
- The Department for Work and Pensions asked for a face-to-face interview
- But Joanne says that taking her son anywhere is like a ‘military operation’
A disabled teen who can’t walk or talk has been forced to travel 25 miles in order to attend a ‘fit for work’ benefits interview.
Aaron Faulkner, 19, was born with ‘unbalanced chromosome translocation’ – which is a rare genetic condition.
Due to the condition Aaron is wheelchair bound, cannot control his arms and has difficulty breathing as well as suffering from cerebral palsy.
Lee (right) and Joanne Faulkner (left) with son Aaron (centre) who has had to attend a fit for work interview despite having cerebral palsy and a rare condition called unbalanced chromosome translocation
Aaron requires 24-care as he cannot communicate and has to be fed through a tube.
His mother Joanne, 43, applied for Universal Credit when he left school and the Department of Work and Pensions then arranged for a face-to-face meeting with Aaron.
Mother-of-two Joanne, from Doncaster – who says taking her son anywhere is like a military operation – asked for the interview to take place at home but was told by the Department of Work and Pensions he had to travel to Doncaster to the Jobcentre for the meeting.
At the time Aaron was in care in Sheffield after a pipe under his bath at home exploded, flooding his room.
As a result the family had to make the 25-minute trip to prove Aaron is not fit to work despite his medical records stating his condition.
Joanne told The Sun: ‘Aaron can’t do anything for himself and relies on us.
His mother Joanne (right), 43, applied for Universal Credit when he left school and the Department of Work and Pensions then arranged for a face-to-face meeting with Aaron (centre)
‘Aaron is wheelchair-bound, we have a specially adapted car for him, with his feeding pumps and everything he needs in.
‘He is incontinent and uses nappies and has to be hoisted everywhere. The man who we travelled to see for the interview couldn’t believe it.
‘He couldn’t believe we’d been asked to come out to them for the interview, and said he would put a note on his records so it didn’t happen again.’
Due to the condition Aaron (centre) is wheelchair bound, cannot control his arms and has difficulty breathing as well as suffering from cerebral palsy
Aaron’s mother Joanne and father Lee, 46, who works in a factory, have looked after him ever since he was born with the condition.
Aaron had previously attended Heatherwood Special School for children with conditions like from the age of three but left this summer meaning his mother applied for Universal Credit for him.
A DWP spokesman said: ‘We are very sorry a home visit was not arranged, it should have been.
‘We have apologised to Ms Faulkner and are processing her son’s claim quickly to make sure she and her son have the support they need.’