December 5 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
A man who lost a leg in a traffic accident five years ago has lost an appeal against a government decision to take away his taxpayer-funded car.
Robert Oxley, 36, of Lime Avenue, Colchester, lost his right leg in a motorcycle accident in 2008 and wears a prosthetic limb below the knee. He also badly injured his left leg in the crash, which affects his mobility.
He appeared at a tribunal hearing in Ipswich last week as he appealed a 2010 Government decision to withdraw a car he had been given as part of the mobility component of his Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
The hearing focussed specifically on his mobility during the period September 22, 2010 and February 22, 2011.
But Mr Oxley has now been informed that he lost the appeal and that he does not meet the criteria that would lead to the decision being overturned.
“It’s still the same,” he said. “I’m not entitled to it as I do not satisfy the statutory criteria.
“I can’t help how I am; how my leg is. It is different each day, not the same. I’m off work again at the moment because it’s sore to walk on.
“I’m not very happy. I don’t think I have got any more options left. It is very disappointing to wait all this time for them to go back and look at a four month period. They’ve basically made their decision and by the sounds of it they are not going to budge anyway. It’s just all the time – the waiting, the stress and being depressed while worrying about things. It’s not nice.”
Mr Oxley works for industrial air unit manufacturer, Flakt Woods in Colchester, which kept his position open for him and made provisions so he can work sitting down for the bulk of his shift.
In the wake of his accident, Mr Oxley was given a car to help him get to work and back as part of his DLA from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
But in early 2010 the DWP took away Mr Oxley’s car saying that because he could stand up he no longer qualified for the DLA.
Mr Oxley, a father of two young children, was represented at the hearing by Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell, who has been helping his constituent for several years and has even written to the Prime Minister about his plight.
Sir Bob said: “There is a saying that ‘the law is an ass’. After this tribunal ruling, I well understand that expression – indeed, the judgement is straight out of Alice in Wonderland.
“That said, it is the rigid, inflexible and totally incomprehensible rules and regulations that seemingly govern such hearings rather than this comment being an observation on those who make the judgement. I shall therefore be using this experience to challenge Ministers and the Government to give tribunals the flexibility to make judgements which take into account common-sense.”
Sir Bob said he would support Mr Oxley on any fresh application that he made.
He added: “This is not the end of the case. A disappointing outcome from Thursday’s hearing, yes, but we move on with the next step in getting commonsense and compassion for a young man who has overcome much, who has been brilliantly supported by his wife and family and by his employer.”