Leah Binns’ in-growing toenail operation might have changed the course of her life. The 19-year-old went in for the minor operation on her big toe and all seemed to go well.
But when she had the bandages removed four days later she says it ‘exploded’ – possibly because they had been tied too tightly. After being cleaned up she found she’d lost feeling in her toe and it was infected, she says.
The incident left her needing crutches to walk and unable to return to work at Internationale clothes shop in Meadowhall where her job involved standing all day.
But because she worked only 16 hours a week she says she was unable to claim sick pay from the company, or even statutory sick pay from the Government, she says.
So she applied for employment and support allowance – what used to be disability allowance. But nearly a month later she was still waiting for a decision – so she contacted Action Desk.
Leah, of Orgreave Lane, Handsworth, said: “It’s a good job I’m living at home because I’ve had no money coming in at all since I went off work on February 14.
“While some of my toe is still numb, the sensation that has returned means it’s painful.
“And it swells when I stand so there’s no way I can return to work in a shop.”
Leah’s benefits have been started. A spokeswoman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “We have been in touch with Miss Binns to confirm she has been paid and to apologise for the delay. In order for future payments to be made, claimants must continue to provide medical evidence.”