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Last Updated: Saturday, 18 August 2007, 12:47 GMT 13:47 UK
Shot amputee disability pay snub
Artificial limb
The teenager has an artificial limb after his right leg was amputated
A teenager who had a leg amputated after a paramilitary-style shooting has been denied disability benefit as his artificial limb makes him too mobile.

Conor Weldon, 19, was shot last September by the Continuity IRA. "It's hard just getting about each day," the west Belfast man told the Irish News.

"I can't walk very far and can't afford to get taxis, so it means I'm just stuck in the house a lot."

The Department of Social Development said all cases could be appealed.

A spokesman said it did not comment on individual cases, but decisions were based on how a person's life was affected by the disability.

He added that it was open to appeal and "we would encourage them to pursue that process".

Earlier this month, it emerged that two assembly members were among more than 170,000 people in Northern Ireland claiming the benefit, which is not means tested.

It later emerged that one of them, David Hilditch, had played for the assembly's soccer team in a match in London against their Welsh counterparts.

The DUP mayor of Carrickfergus told the BBC he spent almost all the trip spectating from the sidelines, "but the lads let me on with a few minutes to go just so I can raise money for charity".

He said he would have loved to play a bigger part in the match, as he used to enjoy football and road running, but his current condition did not allow it since his retirement on grounds of ill-health.

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