A Limavady couple have spoken of their upset and anger at receiving letters from the Social Security Agency asking if their severely disabled son can manage his own affairs.
Brave Dale Eakin was born weighing just over 3lbs and was diagnosed with Yunis Varon Syndrome.
He cannot talk or walk, and is dependent on constant care to meet his every need.
Dale spent almost three and a half years in hospital before his parents Jackie and Trevor brought him home.
Because of his extremely rare genetic condition, Dale wasn’t expected to live for more than 24 hours. Now aged 15 and a half, Dale has defied the odds.
Over the summer, Dale’s devoted parents say letters from the Social Security Agency regarding his Disability Living Allowance have been “very upsetting”.
The letters have asked if Dale will be able to manage his own affairs once he turns 16 in January and, if not, for an explanation.
The communication also asks for Dale’s bank details as, once he turns 16, he could get his DLA paid into his own bank account.
“It makes you so cross,” says mum Jackie. “They say once they’ve received the details from the letters someone will be in touch to arrange a visit, but they should have come and met Dale a long time ago.”
Dad Trevor says the letters are “heartless” and said in Dale’s almost 16 years no one from the Social Security Agency has come to see him at home.
“It’s a reminder in a cruel way of how sick Dale is.
“It makes you feel bad because you wish you had a wee boy who was able to go to the bank and do his own stuff.
“It’s downgrading and it’s not helping us.”