Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners activist has disability benefits reinstated after appeal

An original member of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) who was crowdfunding after her disability benefits were cut has had them fully reinstated.

Nicola Field was crowd-funding £2,000 for an accessible car earlier this month after her benefits were cut in February, as reported by PinkNews.

However, now her benefits have been reintroduced following an ‘exhausting’ 23-week appeals process.

The funds raised by her appeal – which totaled £1,635 – will be divided between two disability rights organisations.

The sum had initally been planned to replace an accessible car and home help that the LGBT-rights activist could no longer afford.

She said: “As someone with ME and PTSD, I cannot tell you what a relief this is.

“I will now be able to re-apply for a Motability car to help me get around safely and reinstate the help at home I have been having to do without. I’m over the moon.”

The U-turn means that Field will not need to go through a formal tribunals process to keep her full amount of benefits.

The activist told PinkNews that assessors had used her ability to maintain eye contact during the assessment as evidence against her in awarding a lower rate of disability benefits.

Gesticulating hands were also seen as evidence that she did not need a higher level of benefits payment, said Field.

According to Citizens Advice, over half of similar ‘mandatory reconsideration’ appeals are successful.

Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) was a group of LGBT activists who formed to support striking miners in 1984-1985.

The organisation fundraised for those on strikes through appeals and charity concerts, including the Pits and Perverts gig headlined by the Bronski Beat in December 1984.

Its activities were dramatised in the smash-hit 2014 BBC film, Pride.

However, LGSM disbanded formally in 2015, saying they did not want to become “an LGBT version of the British legion.”