openJustice: Investigation

The fight for cancer patients who were overlooked in Coronavirus failure (video)

A woman with leukaemia and a benefits adviser tell their story of a government failure that left seriously ill people with little money to live

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Charlotte Threipland Oscar Rickett
3 March 2021, 12.01am

Melissa McNaughton, 31, had been running a successful hair saloon for years until she was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia in 2018. The treatment left her physically unable to work to the same degree and she had no choice but to apply for Universal Credit.

When COVID-19 restrictions came into force in March 2020 the Department for Work and Pensions in Glasgow, Scotland began to withhold payments to people with serious illness – including Melissa. Greg Brown, a benefits adviser at a cancer charity, helped Melissa and others to challenge this decision. The full story can be read here.

This video is part of our series The Unlawful State: Stories from a Pandemic where we lift up the voices of those whose lives are being disproportionately affected by the coronavirus crisis and hear stories of how civil society are responding. Click here for more.

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