A FORMER marine who fought in Afghanistan and lost his leg in an explosion has won his right to disability benefits after a tribunal ruled in his favour.
When the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) refused Aaron Moon his monthly Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Carers benefits, classing him as no longer disabled, he requested a tribunal.
As the independent panel was given medical evidence showing the 24-year-old, who was given a prosthetic limb, suffered great pain from what is left of his leg and needed further surgery, it ordered the DWP to reinstate the £100-a-week DLA, back-dated from November when it was removed.
Aaron, a former Aspull Rugby Union Club player, said: “The panel realised I was still disabled and ordered the DWP to give me my allowance back.
“I am glad I have won, but I am aggrieved that I had to go through the whole process.
“The benefit will help me with day to day life living with a disability. In a way it is a moral victory, and offers inspiration to anybody else in the same situation who deserves to have disability allowance.
“I hope they can see it is worth fighting for.
“I did not understand the decision in the first place. The process for getting a blue badge is entirely different and I was entitled to that as I was disabled.”
Aaron was represented by Mike Downes of the British Limbless Ex Service Men’s Association,
A DWP spokesman said: “We owe the men and women who have served their country a huge debt of gratitude and cases like this show exactly why we need to reform the system.
“In future seriously injured members of the armed forces will automatically get the support they need and won’t have to do a separate assessment.
“Everyone has the right to appeal a decision at an independent tribunal and often people provide additional information to go with their original claim which can have an effect on the outcome of their case.”
Aaron, who now lives in Westhoughton, joined the Royal Marines in 2006 as a member of the Armoured Support Group.
He was driving an armoured vehicle in Afghanistan in 2009 when the bomb went off and he suffered a dislocation of both knees and pelvis, broken collar bone, heel and legs and he also fractured the base of his spine.