No fairness in this disability policy

From: Gerard Poole

Fulton Road, Walkley, Sheffield S6

I am a 26-year-old man from Sheffield and I am dying from cancer. I have been given 6-9 months to live; 12 months if my current course of chemotherapy proves effective.

I recently wrote to Iain Duncan Smith to ask him to change the rules on Disability Living Allowance. You see the entitlement is not backdated from the date of diagnosis (when I am no longer able to work) but from the date of application. In my case this was two weeks, a 12th of my future life expectancy. Because of my tender years I neither have a family to support or a mortgage to pay, but if I did how exactly would I be expected to survive in the meantime? (It was only because I had the support of a cancer charity- which is about to see its fundinging slashed- that I got my application in so soon.)

Unfortunately Iain Duncan Smith did not deem my enquiry worthy of a response. As my time is precious, I was hoping that you may be able to put the following three questions to him on my behalf;

IDS, is it fair that a 26-year-old man diagnosed with cancer, who is given 6-9 months to live receives his disability living allowance from the date of application and not from the date of diagnosis (when I had to stop work)? Which in my case amounts to a 12th of my future life expectancy?

IDS, is it fair that if I am not happy with this situation I have to ring a premium rate number to contact the DWP?

IDS, is it just that if people feel their application for assistance has been turned down unfairly they are no longer entitled to legal aid due to the £350 million cuts announced by the justice secretary last November?