A terminally ill dad whose son was murdered has been refused Universal Credit and told to find a job despite being given just months to live.
Scottish 60-year-old Michael McClelland is undergoing gruelling treatment for a brain tumour – but was told by the Department of Work and Pensions he is fit for work.
The Linwood taxi driver has been left distraught after his claim for help was turned down.
It is yet another blow for Michael whose innocent son Craig, 31, was stabbed to death by knife fiend James Wright just two years ago, reports the Daily Record.
The dad has waged a two year battle for answers after his son's death.
Michael was diagnosed with a brain tumour on the right 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, DWP bureaucrats say he isn’t eligible for Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).
Desperate Michael spoke 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 chemotherapy tablet everyday.
“My specialist has given me nine months.”
Former BEA 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.
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