A 39-YEAR-old woman said she needs to rely on the generosity of neighbours after her welfare benefit was taken away.

Sharon Jones from Goodrich was diagnosed with fibromyalgia towards the end of last year.

She said she has been signed off work by her doctor, and also has blood clots on her lungs.

But she was re-assessed for Personal independence payment (PIP) in December and has been told by the Department for Work and Pensions that she is not entitled to it.

Friend Linda Schofield said: "She was assessed through PIP. They are saying there is nothing wrong with her. But they haven't even contacted her doctors.

"She has had no money whatsoever. "She is relying on her neighbours to help her and feed her and everything."

Ms Jones said she was previously given PIP at a low level but this was completely removed during the last assessment.

Fibromyalgia is a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body. As well as widespread pain, people with fibromyalgia may also have: increased sensitivity to pain, fatigue (extreme tiredness) and muscle stiffness.

Ms Schofield added: "She has got all of the doctor's notes and she has got lots of medication."

She said Ms Jones used to work as a carer in Hereford.

PIP is a benefit for people who need help taking part in everyday life or who find it difficult to get around. It replaces disability living allowance for people between the ages of 16 and 64 inclusive.

To receive PIP, people need to fill in a form. An independent health professional will then assess the level of help the person needs either at a meeting or by asking a health or social care worker.

A DWP spokesman said: “We’re committed to ensuring that disabled people get the full support that they need and PIP helps with the extra costs someone may have as a result of a disability.

“Decisions for PIP are made using all the available evidence, and anyone who disagrees with a decision can appeal.”

The amount applicants get depends on how the condition affects the person, not the condition itself.