A mother-of-three who was declined disability benefits as she did not fit the criteria is planning on taking legal action as she continues her fight to get the payments she is entitled to.

Lorraine Cox (pictured right) was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in August last year yet she had no access to certain benefits because she did not pass the initial assessment for Personal Independence Payment (PIP). It was only after an appeal that the basic allowance was granted to her.

After a conversation with her neurologist last year, Lorraine decided to apply for PIP. The assessment was carried out by Capita on behalf of the Department of Communities and this initial assessment was the beginning of an extremely frustrating time.

Lorraine was declined benefits as she did not fit the criteria. She submitted an appeal in June with the outcome of that only being delivered three weeks ago which resulted in her being approved for basic allowance but being declined for the enhanced and mobility allowance which she is appealing again.

And now at the end of her tether, she is taking legal action in an attempt to get this resolved.

“I’m having to go to court to fight this bloody thing and that is absurd. Why should I have to go to court?

“I was speaking to the head of the Motor Neurone Association in Northern Ireland and I said to her you know what, they are causing me stress and they are escalating this. But I have other things that I should be doing.

“I shouldn’t be fighting this still.”

Lorraine is currently liaising with he solicitor and is planning to meet with Citizens’ Advice as she tries to get to the end of a process which started almost one year ago.

The whole experience has left her feeling angry and disheartened with what she has went through with the PIP assessment but there is still no end in sight.

The disease is becoming more pronounced on the left side of her body, and she has started taking cannabis oil to try and fight the inflammation in her knees so she can move round with as little pain as possible.

Lorraine is due to retire from her job next month, having already gone to part-time hours. This gave her more time to spend with her children and helped her feel more relaxed. With the upcoming legal action, comes the added stress, but she feels there is nothing to lose by taking this to court.

“I’m thinking I have nothing to lose here. I am angry.

“I feel so disheartened because it has got out of hand,” she said.