Cancer sufferer’s fury over benefits

Kevin Faulkner and partner Nicola Rowley.
Kevin Faulkner and partner Nicola Rowley.
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A recovering cancer sufferer is outraged at the benefits system after being told he was fit enough to work and denied payments he was entitled to.

Skegness resident Kevin Faulkner, 37, said the staff carrying out his health assessment made him feel like he was on trial and paid no attention to his medical circumstances.

He said: “I think they were completely unprofessional, they don’t seem like proper doctors, they are just people with targets to get as many people back to work as they can, no matter what’s wrong with them.

“It’s totally wrong and I’m disgusted with the way I’ve been treated.”

Mr Faulkner went for his first health assessment with Atos in October last year.

Despite complaining of back ache and urinary problems, symptoms which were later diagnosed as being caused by kidney cancer, the Atos medical staff told Mr Faulkner he was fit for work.

As his condition deteriorated he went for an independent medical assessment, which revealed a tumour on his kidney.

A successful operation in April this year seems to have removed the cancerous tissue, but he is still suffering from the surgery and has been warned by doctors the tumour could easily return.

Although Atos agreed he was eligible for ESA when it became apparent Mr Faulkner was suffering with cancer, it has refused to put him on the full payment rate.

Mr Faulkner claims to have spent hours filling out questionnaires to gain the full benefits he believes are rightfully his, which he feels is hampering is recovery.

His partner Nicola Rowley has been caring for Mr Faulkner during his illness and feels his treatment by Atos is ‘deplorable’.

“Going through cancer is a terrible ordeal, you go through a range of emotions and it tears your life apart.

“Kevin and I have gone through hell and Atos have only made it worse.”