DWP tells Southend man with damaged leg he is fit for work | Echo – Southend Echo

A MAN who “severely” damaged his leg in an accident has been told he must continue to search for employment – despite having a doctor’s note stating he is unfit to work.
Neil Pennycook has been ordered to attend “work search reviews” by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) while he receives Universal Credit.
But the 48-year-old, of Inverness Avenue, Westcliff, insists this is completely at odds with medical experts, who have deemed him unable to work.
Mr Pennycook claims Valkyrie Surgery has issued him a doctor’s note proving his inability to work due to injury.
“This whole process is making my life more stressed and causing me misery and I am at my wit’s end,” he said.
Mr Pennycook says he badly broke his leg three years ago chasing a thief who had stolen his nephew’s mountain bike.
“I was running after him, and I jumped over a fence, and smashed my left shin bone.”
The damage was so severe he was taken to a specialist surgeon in the Royal London where he had 12 screws and two plates inserted into his leg.
A year ago, Mr Pennycook, who worked as a handyman before his injury, suffered a fall which damaged some of the screws in his leg, leaving him in severe pain.
“Walking is incredibly difficult and painful at the moment,” he said.
“I am still waiting for another surgery to remove some of the screws in my leg.”
The DWP insists its “fit for work” classification does not mean the department thinks Mr Pennycook is ready for manual labour, but rather he may be capable of part-time work in the near future.
A spokesman said: “Mr Pennycook attended a medical assessment and the outcome was that he may be able to do some work in the future. As a result he is required to attend work search reviews.
“We have offered a wealth of support to Mr Pennycook, including training, help with writing a CV and employment advice, and we have asked what job goals he feels he could work towards.”
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