Leeds man wins marathon fight to keep benefits

David Johnson.
David Johnson.
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a FORMER company director who has suffered from a debilitating chronic fatigue condition for two decades has won a year-long benefits battle.

David Johnson, 51, from Pudsey, faced losing £90 a week of incapacity benefit, under new Government reassessments of entitlement.

A medical report, based on his day to day activity and an assessment interview, concluded that he was fit to work, and he was put on a lower rate of income while he awaited an appeal decision.

But now the appeal tribunal in Leeds has found in his favour.

A tribunal judge took just 30 minutes to overturn the findings of the Department of Work and Pensions-sponsored medical report.

Mr Johnson said it was an “absolute relief” to have the previous findings overruled.

He said the medical report used to prepare the case against him was “superficial and seriously flawed”.

However he added he fully expected to be subjected to another similar process.

Mr Johnson was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) 15 years ago but battled to carry on at the helm of the electronic engineering business he founded more than 20 years ago.

He worked part time until 2007, but was finally forced to give up his job.

He now relies on his father to help him with the most basic of tasks.

“I pretty much lived to work,” he told the YEP previously.

“I was the founding director of my company, it was my life. It was a horrendous decision to have to stop - horribly frustrating.

“I’d go back tomorrow if I could [but] there’s no way I could hold down a job.

“I can manage on a day to day basis, but I rely hugely on my dad for basic things like shopping and laundry.”

In his appeal evidence, Mr Johnson said his interviewers had failed to demonstrate appropriate knowledge of his illness, to fully record how it affects him in his day-to-day activities, and to take into account whether he could “reliably and repeatedly perform the assessed activities.”


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