BRIDLINGTON soldier Aron Shelton has won his fight to get his disability benefit reinstated at a tribunal today (Thursday).
Former Private Aron Shelton, 27, of Redwood Close, had his monthly benefit slashed from £180 to £75 pounds after honestly admitting to the Department of Work and Pensions that he could walk 400m on his prosthetic limb following a gruelling rehabilitation.
The loss of his benefit meant he would not have been able to afford to run his car - his “lifeline” - and would have wrecked his independence.
His blue disability badge was even removed.
Aron received shattering injuries in June 2007 when a Land Rover carrying him and colleagues was hit by a massive explosion in Helmand Province.
He and his fiancee Callan Fowler, 21, fought for a year to have his full benefits reinstated and took the matter to court - where a five-minute hearing today unanimously awarded him the full amount after the DWP finally backed down.
Aron said: “I’m shocked that we’ve got the result we wanted because the DWP gave us no indication they were going to back down.
I’m relieved but it’s ridiculous it’s come to this to get what I knew I was fully entitled to.”
During the brief hearing at Scarborough County Court, Daniella Luxford from the DWP advised the bench to reinstate the full allowance because there was “clear evidence” he was “virtually unable to walk”.
A judgement from the tribunal read: “The appellant is entitled to mobility component at the higher rate for an indefinite period because he is virtually unable to walk. The appellant’s quality and speed of walking are clearly compromised.
“The Tribunal accepts that not only is he virtually unable to walk but that the effort needed to walk would also be likely to lead to a serious deterioration in his health.”
The new rate will come into effect immediately.
Aron, who was in the 2nd Battalion the Mercian Regiment, lives off his war pension.
He was financially supported in his fight for the full allowance by the Royal British Legion, and Bridlington residents raised thousands of pounds for the soldier last year when the Free Press reported on his plight.
• Read the full report of Aron’s victory in next week’s Free Press