Benefits row boost for disabled Ava

Good news: Ava Joliffe, centre, with her mum Laura, father Graham and sister Libby
Good news: Ava Joliffe, centre, with her mum Laura, father Graham and sister Libby
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There is finally some light at the end of the tunnel in the benefits saga involving severely disabled Preston girl Ava Jolliffe.

Ava needs round-the-clock care, is profoundly deaf, certified blind, has to use a wheelchair, can’t feed herself and her eyes shake permanently.

Somebody has agreed to pay for Ava’s benefit - but the money it must have cost in legal time, the whip’s time, Ben Wallace’s time, the paper work, must be a lot more than three months benefit

But because the eight-year-old’s father works in Germany for BAE, and pays the equivalent of National Insurance there, the Government say she is not entitled to the care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

Instead, bosses at DWP have told the family they should be claiming help from the German authorities.

Now after a deal was struck between the two governments, Germany will now instruct the health insurance company to support the family until Ava’s dad Graham comes back to the UK in July.

From then on the DWP should be responsible for all Ava’s support needs.

Today Ava’s mum Laura, 43, of Barton, near Preston, said: “It’s a compromise of sorts, Graham is coming back in three months.

“Germany will pay for the next three months then we will have to apply again.

“Somebody has agreed to pay for Ava’s benefit - but the money it must have cost in legal time, the whip’s time, Ben Wallace’s time, the paper work, must be a lot more than three months benefit.

“When Graham comes back we don’t know where we will be. We know it takes so long for these reapplications at which point we could have a new government and be left out in the cold.”

Laura added: “We are frustrated by the whole thing, it has been on going for a year, it’s affected our family life so much, there’s still no peace as such.

“We know when Graham comes back we will start the process again with possibly a new set of rules and new government.”