Katie Larn, 29, says she was denied benefits by the DWP despite suffering from stage three Hodgkin’s Lymphona
A mother-of-three with stage three Hodgkin’s Lymphoma says the government told her she did not have enough cancer to receive two types of benefits.
Katie Larn, 29, went for a check up after feeling tired and breathless in November 2018 and tests revealed she was suffering from the cancer.
After her diagnosis, Katie, who was working as a carer, applied for both the daily living allowance and mobility benefits, but says she was told she wasn’t ill enough.
Katie from Braunstone, Leicester, said: ‘I could not believe what I was hearing, they told me if I was terminal they would try and push the payment to be sent within a week.
‘It was as if they were telling me unless I was dying, they would not be able to help me.
‘There have only been a few moments in my life where I have been speechless, and this phone call stunned me.
‘They told me I couldn’t get the benefits, and I said: “Are you telling me I don’t have enough cancer” and they said: “Yes.”
‘I wasn’t even going to complain when I first had my diagnosis, but with two children who relied on me and now my own personal battle with cancer I needed all of the help I could get.
The carer went for a check up after feeling tired and breathless in November 2018 and tests revealed she was suffering from the cancer
Katie from Braunstone, Leicester, had an allergic reaction to her cancer treatment which left her with scars
‘I provided them with doctor’s reports describing my condition and documents showing the chemo medication I was taking.
‘At this point I couldn’t keep anything down aside from milkshakes because of all of the medication I was on.
Katie said she only scored six points on their benefits system and eight points are required to qualify.
She was diagnosed with stage three Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in December 2018 after what she initially thought was just a cold.
Katie said: ‘When they told me I had cancer I just went numb, when you hear that word you don’t hear anything else.
‘I had two children, it was the most terrifying day of my life, I just wondered what my children would do if I had not made It through.’
Katie (pictured during treatment) was diagnosed with stage three Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in December 2018 after what she initially thought was just a cold
In July 2019, after a gruelling seven-month treatment plan, which included regular chemotherapy she was finally in remission.
She claims she did not receive a penny from the Department of Work and Pensions throughout the process.
She said: ‘The treatment was so difficult, I had an allergic reaction to the chemotherapy medication, Bleomycin, which made my legs erupt in red patches and scaring which was painful.
‘I had worked my entire life since I finished college, and when I needed it the most, the country that I had poured taxes into for over 10 years had abandoned me.
‘The relief I had when being told I was in remission can’t be put into words, I was given my life back and my children would have their mum.’
Now that Katie is back to good health, she wants to share her story to highlight the issues that innocent people face when being given a life-changing diagnosis.
Now that Katie is back to good health (pictured after treatment), she wants to share her story to highlight the issues that innocent people face when being given a life-changing diagnosis
Katie said: ‘I believe that I had an easier ride with cancer than a lot of other people, but for seven months, not only was I battling cancer and looking after my two children, I was expected to fend for myself.
‘We trust our government to be there for us when we need them the most, as we are there for them every month with our tax payments.
‘All I want from this is other women, men, children and families as a whole to know that when they get that illness, or any illness that could potentially end their life, they will be given all of the help they need whilst they are busy fighting to stay alive.’
A DWP spokesman said: ‘We are committed to ensuring that people with health conditions get the support they need, which is why PIP examines how a person’s condition impacts them on a daily basis.
‘Decisions are made based on all the information that’s available to us at the time, including evidence from a claimant’s GP or medical specialist.
‘Anyone can appeal a decision to a free independent tribunal or can apply for the benefit again if their condition changes.
‘Ms Larn continues to receive Income Support and other benefits while awaiting the outcome of her PIP appeal.’