Missed appointment leads to 10 months' benefit delay

Ella has been receiving disability allowance for several years due to ill health, including epilepsy, which was thought to be under control. When changes in the Benefits system were recently introduced, the Benefits Office booked a medical check on Ella to reassess her current disability. 

Meanwhile pressure at home, including her partner being out of work, lead to Ella's home life becoming stressful, eventually leading to what appears to have been a relapse in her epilepsy. On the day of the Benefits health check Ella was actually at the hospital, having what was initially thought to be a seizure, which meant she missed the appointment. 

Despite supplying proof of the circumstances the Benefits Office stopped all but the very basic benefits because of the missed appointment. Ella and her partner were left really struggling financially to provide for themselves and their three children. 

Ella received professional advice, and the case was taken to court. When the case was finally brought before a judge - after nine months - the judge was outraged that the family had been left in such circumstances when it was clear there was a genuine reason for Ella not making the medical appointment. All benefits were reinstated - but this will take a further four weeks to be put in place. 

Swindon Foodbank has  been able to provide regular foodboxes to the family throughout this time.