Universal Credit Denied to Dying Dad of Paisley Murder Victim After He's Given Nine Months To Live

Wednesday 09 October, 2019 Written by  David Campbell, Daily Record
Universal Credit Denied to Dying Dad of Paisley Murder Victim After He's Given Nine Months To Live

DYING MAN BENEFITS REFUSED - Michael McClelland - father of murdered Craig McClelland - has been denied benefits despite his terminal brain tumour diagnosis.

The terminally ill father of a Paisley murder victim has been refused Universal Credit and told to find a job despite being given just months to live.

Tragic Michael McClelland, 60, who is undergoing gruelling treatment for a brain tumour has been left distraught after his claim for help was turned down.

The Linwood taxi driver has waged a two year battle for answers after his innocent son Craig, 31, was stabbed to death by tagged knife fiend James Wright.

He was diagnosed with a brain tumour on the right hand side of his head while on holiday in Canada in July.

But despite being told by doctors he has just nine months to live and undergoing daily radiotherapy, Department for Work and Pensions bureaucrats say he isn’t eligible for Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

Desperate Michael spoke to the Paisley Daily Express about his struggle on the eve of today’s expected Crown Office announcement on whether a Fatal Accident Inquiry into Craig’s death will be held.

He said: “It is cruel what they have done. It’s cruelty.

“I had to give up work in July an operation to remove the tumour, medically I can’t drive, so I’ve had no income at all since then.

“We thought I was getting Universal Credit but at the Job Centre Plus in Johnstone they told me I wasn’t eligible because my partner Terry works part-time.

“I said ‘I have worked all my life, paid my tax, my National Insurance, been a legitimate guy and now I’m terminally ill with months to live you are telling me I’m not entitled to anything?

“The woman said ‘no’. And when I asked what I was supposed to do? She said, ‘make yourself available for work.’

“When we got home, Terry just burst into tears.

“I can’t work - I have radiotherapy everyday, I take a chemothereapy tablet everyday.

“My specialist has given me nine months.”

Former BAE Systems engineer Michael says the stress of dealing with constant letters and phone calls has been at times almost too much to bear.

He added: “You get these letters from the DWP which are almost impossible to understand, and you worry nonstop about them.

“And then you are told you are getting nothing from them.

“I think people should know that this is how the system treats people. It is so cruel.”

Michael, who has lost three stone since falling ill, had his Universal Credit claim refused because partner Terry works part-time and the application is decided on overall household income.

He added: “I have been told I can’t take my pension either.

“So we don’t have that, it has been devastating.

“I will hopefully qualify for a Personal Independence Payment, but that can take up to ten
weeks.”

After two years of torment following the murder of his beloved son Craig, his battle for justice and now his cancer battle, dad of three Michael is philosophical about the future.

He said: “I’m not scared of death, not in the slightest. I said when Craig died it should have been me.

“ My faith tells me that when I die I’ll see him again.

“And with the time I have left I’m going to enjoy myself with the family, with Terry, my sons, and my grand kids.

“We are going to enjoy the time I have left.”Today the family will find out if their campaign for Fatal Accident Inquiry has paid off when they meet with the Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC.

Father-of-three Craig was stabbed to death by serial knife thug Wright in Tweed Avenue, Foxbar, in July 2017.

It emerged Wright had removed his electronic tag just daysafter being released early from prison and was “unlawfully at large” when he murdered innocent Craig.

Justice Minister Humza Yousaf rejected the family’s call for a public inquiry, claiming police and prison service watchdog reports were sufficient.

A DWP spokesman said: “We are looking urgently into Mr McClelland’s case.

"Our priority is to support people with health conditions and make sure that people nearing the end of their life get the benefits they are entitled to quickly and easily.”

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