A SOLDIER who was docked his disability benefits despite losing a leg in Afghanistan and being told he will lose the other has won his fight to have the allowance reinstated after a year-long battle.
Former Private Aron Shelton, 27, of Bridlington, had his benefit slashed from £180-a-month to £75 after admitting to the Department of Work and Pensions that he could stagger 400m on his prosthetic limb following a gruelling rehabilitation.
This 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 and 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 unanimously awarded him the full amount after the DWP finally backed down.
Aron received shattering injuries in June 2007 when a Land Rover carrying him and colleagues was hit by a massive explosion in Helmand Province.
His best friend, Drummer Thomas Wright, 21, was killed in the blast while Aron’s legs were so severely damaged his left leg had to be amputated and he has been warned he will eventually lose his right leg to arthritis.
Aron, of Bridlington, 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.