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Leeds: ‘Benefits cuts may make us homeless’

RARE DISORDER: Ben Draper from Cookridge.

RARE DISORDER: Ben Draper from Cookridge.

  • by Laura Bowyer
 

A Leeds mum fears she and her son, who suffers from a rare genetic disorder, could lose their home after cuts to his benefits have left them with a £600 a month black hole.

Ben Draper has Prader Willi Syndrome, which gives sufferers an insatiable appetite, and means he can literally eat himself to death.

Devoted mum Maggie fears they could be left homeless after Ben’s Working Family Tax Credits with a childcare element were cut because he turned 20.

Ben, who also has scoliosis, congenital hip dislocation and a chronic lung condition following a bout of pneumonia, can claim an Employment and Support Allowance of just £56 a week – but that leaves them with a monthly shortfall of over £600.

Maggie, who works part time and cares for her son, fears they could now be forced to leave their specially adapted home in Cookridge.

She said: “I try not to think about it too much. I just don’t want to lose my house.

“I can just about meet my mortgage and bills.

“We have had the house adapted and made it right for Ben but I’m in real danger of having to sell.

“By wanting to work and looking after my own son I’m being penalised.”

Maggie claims she was told she would be better off not working but she doesn’t want to quit her job.

 

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