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Disabled son who cares for his dad with arthritis denied PIP

David Rhind in front of his son Christopher
David Rhind in front of his son Christopher Image credit: mirror.co.uk

A disabled son who has become a full-time carer for his dad has been rejected Personal Independence Payments (PIP) on two occasions.

Disabled people can claim up to £152.15 a week, but only if they pass an assessment.

After being turned down PIP the Rhinds, from Aberdeenshire, are struggling financially.

David Rhind, 52, has arthritis and requires full-time care, his son Christopher, 22, copes with learning disabilities and attends a special school but education is tough.

The pressure looking after his father has seen Christopher suffer from depression, anxiety, sleep deprivation and breathlessness leading him to thoughts of self-harming and biting off his fingernails.

He became his dad’s full-time carer after David’s wife passed away last November. Since the loss Christopher has taken on the roles of cooking, cleaning the house as well as washing and dressing his father.

David told The Mirror: "My son is now my carer and I help him as much as I can. He helps me wash, dress and he cleans the house with a little help from me as I can't do much and he helps me down in the village as he can't make a journey alone.

"I write things down for him so he remembers and I help him cook. He does all the lifting, and I tell him the temperature and time things need for cooking.

"My wife showed him how to use the washing machine and when he goes out I have to be with him or he would get lost."

Christopher failed a PIP assessment after leaving school and again on July 17 this year on the basis he was able to care for his dad, cook a meal independently and plan a journey.

David said: "He's on meds for his nerves and meds for sleep deprivation, and a salbutamol inhaler which he uses now and again. But yet PIP say if you suffer any mental health issue you are entitled to [the benefit], which is all lies - they're uncaring and unhuman."

When Christopher was rejected for PIP a second time it had a dramatic effect on his health.

"As he told me, no one cares," David said. "But he said I'm his rock, and I said he is mine.

"PIP to my son would help him a great deal, as with his medical health it would help him a lot. He has never had any savings as he can't work, and is now my full-time carer."

Around 293,000 people across the UK have been denied Personal Independent Payment over the past three years.