Lottery couple defend benefit claim

EuroMillions ticketA couple who scooped a £10.2 million lottery jackpot have defended their right to claim benefits more than six years later.

Mick and Jean O'Shea won the huge EuroMillions sum in 2005, but Mr O'Shea still receives £500 a month disability allowance because it is not means-tested, the Sun reported.
The former builder told the newspaper: "I worked for 40 years and I'm entitled to it. I've been getting it since about 1996. I declared the win to the authorities at the time, but it doesn't matter as it's not means-tested."

He said he has osteoarthritis in his legs and rheumatoid arthritis in his hands and has recently had a hip operation.

According to the newspaper, Mrs O'Shea, 72, said of the allowance: "It's for his eyesight and arthritis. We're entitled to it."

Mr O'Shea, 73, also receives a new car every three years under the Government's Motability scheme for disabled drivers, it was reported.

The couple live in Sneinton, Nottingham, but reportedly also had a house built in Co Kerry, Ireland, after their win.

Mr O'Shea said the pair give away 10 times more than they receive to good causes every year.

Under Government reforms, disability living allowance will be replaced by personal independence payments, which will involve more rigorous checks on claimants but will not be means-tested.

A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: "We do not discuss individual cases but these specific benefits and allowances are not means-tested."
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