Man offered ‘gay cure therapy by his disability benefits assessor’

A disabled gay man has spoken out after he was allegedly offered gay cure therapy by his disability benefits assessor.

Keith Morgan was undergoing a Work Capability Assessment in 2012 when he was told by the assessor that his sexuality made him “defective” and he needed “fixing like a broken car.”

She told him about a television programme that featured a gay man who had been “cured”, and handed him the address of a Christian website that included details about the ‘cured’ man.

Now, Morgan has spoken out about the case, following another assessment for Personal Independence Payments (PIP), a form of disability benefit.

He told the Disability News Service: “I am so sick to death of it now. I feel that every chance they get they lie, and I don’t want to live my life like that.

“I am ill enough already, I struggle with day-to-day living and it is getting harder without the added stress.

“I want to concentrate on my health but how do they ever expect me to make progress?”

The practitioner in the case was given a formal warning by Atos, the contractor which carries out the assessments, and by the General Medical Council. She no longer works for the service.

Atos agreed an out of court settlement with the Kent-based man in 2013, and formally apologised for breaching the Equalities Act in a letter.

Mark Hoban, the then minister for the Department of Work and Pensions, told Morgan that the Government would be investigating the case and acting on the findings of the investigation.

However, as of yesterday (June 14), the Department of Work and Pensions had not confirmed what the findings were or whether they had been acted on.

(Photo: Atos)

He now believes that the way he has been treated by Atos amounts to harassment, with the assessment service removing his PIP payments in April this year.

The ordeal has led him to speak out about his treatment by Atos in 2012, despite a confidentiality agreement.

Morgan has lodged a complaint about his most recent assessor with the General Midwifery and Nursing Council.