Olivia gets her money back

Olivia Robertson, of Eden Road, Rugby, has had her benefits reinstated. Olivia has one leg after nearly dying from meningitis.''Pictured: Olivia Robertson with mum Sheryl.
Olivia Robertson, of Eden Road, Rugby, has had her benefits reinstated. Olivia has one leg after nearly dying from meningitis.''Pictured: Olivia Robertson with mum Sheryl.

YOUNG Olivia Robertson has good reason to smile again after a dramatic U-turn by benefits officials.

Her payments are being reinstated after she was told she was not disabled enough to receive monthly help any more.

“Justice has been done,” said her auntie Sheryl, who has looked after amputee Olivia, ten, since her mother died from cervical cancer.

Olivia’s plight caused national outrage after the story first featured on the front page of the Advertiser in March.

“I was told Olivia wasn’t disabled enough to qualify for the allowance,” said Sheryl, of Eden Road.

“I couldn’t believe it. How disabled do you have to be? It was a diabolical decision to make.”

Olivia had her right leg amputated after almost dying of meningitis and has lived at her aunt’s with her two sisters since her mum Tracey died aged 21.

Sheryl vowed to fight for Olivia’s right to keep the £300-a-month Disability Living Allowance that she relies on to give her niece the best quality of life possible.

Olivia endures constant pain. She survives on a couple of hours sleep a night and is unable to use her right arm.

The decision to stop the benefits was made earlier this year after Olivia’s condition was assessed without a medical following a phone conversation with one of her teachers.

Sheryl, who has two young children of her own, stepped in immediately to take care of her sister’s three children when she died.

She said: “My sister would be pleased that justice has been done and that we went to court and they could see we were telling the truth about Olivia’s condition.”

Sheryl praised the Advertiser for breaking the story earlier this year.

“I owe so much thanks to the Advertiser and also to Mark Pawsey MP,” she said.

The £300 a month benefit - minus £45 taken out to pay for a car - means the family can easily get to hospital as well as on day trips.

Payments will be backdated to January and have been approved until 2017.