Amputee veteran from Gosport told to find job after losing benefit appeal

Falklands veteran Gordon Lang from Gosport who has been told to get a job. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (141648-1)
Falklands veteran Gordon Lang from Gosport who has been told to get a job. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (141648-1)
Portsmouth Magistrates' Court

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GET a job – but it does not matter if you cannot travel there.

That’s what amputee Gordon Lang has been told by the Department of Work and Pensions.

Mr Lang appealed against a decision to stop his Employment Support Allowance after he was told he should be able to work.

But that was rejected and he has now lost his ESA. The DWP said it looked at if he could work, not how he might travel to and from a job.

The government department said he might work at home or an employer could supply transport.

The former Royal Marine, who served in the Falklands conflict said: ‘There probably are (jobs that come with transport) but certainly not in Gosport.

‘I’m absolutely gutted. I did 25 years in the services. I took about a year after that.

‘The only reason I had to stop working is because my amputation means I could not do the job I was doing.’

Mr Lang, 62, was assessed at his home by Atos but said he was not asked to carry out any tasks with or without his prosthetic or outside.

He claims that if he had been asked to do so, his mobility issues would be clear.

Councillor Roger Allen is the armed forces champion at Gosport Borough Council.

The council signed an armed forces covenant agreeing it would support ex-servicemen and women in education, housing and health.

Cllr Allen said: ‘It sounds a bit ridiculous to me. If the guy is not able to get around obviously you can’t go to work.’

In 2012 Mr Lang, of Chilworth Grove, had his leg amputated after suffering from peripheral vascular disease, which had stopped blood flow.

He said his difficulty lies in travelling to a workplace as he has to battle with uneven and sloping pavements to get to a bus stop.

He added he would need somewhere secure to leave his wheelchair while at work as well.

Cllr Peter Chegwyn represents Leesland ward, where Mr Lang lives, at Gosport Borough Council.

He said: ‘It sounds extremely harsh and sadly I’m getting more and more similar cases.

‘They seem to regard everyone as benefit scrounger.

‘There are really decent people that are struggling.

‘For someone who is clearly disabled they should show a little more care and compassion.’

In a letter to the DWP it said the minimum a person is required to be able to get about is 200m.

‘The (assessment) is not to establish how you would get to a work place as the (assessment) is not job specific,’ the letter added.