Paul Swain says he has to ‘choose between cancer treatment or a job’ after DWP cuts his benefits

The family of a cancer patient have contacted the Department for Work and Pensions after being told the disease is ‘not affecting’ their life enough to receive benefits.

Paul Swain, from Haddington, East Lothian, was diagnosed with the incurable blood cancer, multiple myeloma, in February 2021, which has since spread to his kidneys and intestines.

The 55-year-old is currently undergoing ten months of chemotherapy in the hope that it will “give him more time”.

After being told by hospital staff that he could not return to work due to his condition, the freelance cleaner sought to withdraw employment benefits while he underwent treatment.

“It’s heartbreaking to know that my father has been treated like this when he desperately needs help.”

Joanne Davidson, Paul’s daughter

Paul’s daughter, Joanne, said her father was denied financial assistance from the ministry after learning he was still able to ‘prepare to eat and drink’ and ‘spend time with his little ones’. -children”.

She told STV News: ‘My dad is a freelance cleaner but doesn’t work because he’s just not physically capable.

“My dad had just had 20 radical radiotherapy sessions at the time when they said he wasn’t entitled to it, and he worked part-time during that treatment to pay his bills and was very ill.

“He was told that because he was still able to do things like prepare food and drink, spend time with his grandchildren – that he didn’t need any help.

“This decision was appealed but the decision was upheld.

“It’s heartbreaking to know that my father has been treated like this when he desperately needs help.

“His cancer has spread to his kidneys and intestines and he is currently undergoing 10 months of chemotherapy, not to cure but to manage it and hopefully give him more time.”

Paul’s family has now started a petition to fast-track an Adult Disability Payment (ADP), which would allow people diagnosed with cancer to receive benefits while undergoing treatment.

“I am unable to help them financially and as a girl it destroys me inside.”

Joanne Davidson, Paul’s daughter

“My mum has started a petition to the government to try to get things changed,” Joanne said.

“We want to highlight the fact that many cancer patients go through the same thing as my father.

“We believe that if people are having X-ray or chemotherapy and it’s affecting their lives, because it’s a very intrusive treatment, they should benefit from it.”

Joanne has also started a fundraiser in hopes of helping her parents who she says are struggling to pay the cost of living.

She said: “I started the GoFundMe myself just to try and give them some help as they are struggling financially with dad not being able to work.

“I am unable to help them financially and as a girl it destroys me inside.

“It was the only way I could try to help them and we are very grateful for all the donations we have received.”

The Department for Work and Pensions has been contacted for comment.

You can donate to Paul’s GoFundMe here.

About Antoine L. Cassell

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