Blind chef who accidently set him self on fire deemed ‘fit for work’ by DWP

Politics and Insights

The 51-year-old was registered partially sighted five months ago (Photo: Russell Marcus)

51 year old Russel Barton was registered partially sighted five months ago (Photo: Russell Burton) 

Russell Burton was registered partially sighted earlier this year, after burning himself with oil and setting his clothing on fire accidently at work. Burton has worked as a professional chef for the 25 years, but says his deteriorating eyesight means that he is unable to carry on in that job.

Now he fears for his future because the Department of Work and Pensions have claimed he is ‘fit for work’ so he isn’t eligible for disability benefit.

Yet he cannot apply for work as a chef and he lacks the skills and experience to be considered for other roles. He says after 10 months of signing on he’s had no help with retraining from the government. 

Burton had tried to keep his health problems hidden from his bosses, but was “let go of” four times in…

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