A DISABLED man run over by a train in his youth has said only the intervention of the Observer won him the benefits he was entitled to.
Chris Ellis, of Churchill Place, Harrow, was just a teenager in 1979 when he was struck at South Harrow station and suffered injuries to his brain, back and central nervous system, weakening his left leg to the extent he cannot walk far or fast.
Over the years the unemployed 47-year-old's claim for the full disability living allowance was rejected by the Department of Work and Pensions on what he claimed were rushed and incomplete medical check-ups that failed to recognise the seriousness of his condition.
Mr Ellis twice appealed the benefit refusal to a DWP tribunal hearing but lost both cases, most recently in April 2009, and in desperation had contacted Prime Minister Gordon Brown's office for help, but to no avail.
However, after the Observer highlighted Mr Ellis's story in November last year, a doctor was sent out for another examination that led to him receiving the benefits he sought, although back-dated to last year.
Mr Ellis said: "My MP [ Tony McNulty ] and the Prime Minister could-n't move that department.
"It was only the intervention of the Harrow Observer and Leader that jolted them into action.
"I have still lost nearly £40,000 of benefit because the original benefit adviser I visited didn't like my case.
"This benefit is for an indefinite period as they could take it away at any time."
Mr Ellis was awarded the higher rate mobility component of disability living allowance from September 8, 2009.
The Department of Work and Pensions told Mr Ellis in a letter: "Decision makers, when assessing claims to benefit, take into account many medical and other factors which have a likely effect on a person's needs. They are not influenced by any newspaper articles."