steven mifsud with wife Judith

A deaf Nantwich man could be in line for a £20,000 payout after taking a Government department to tribunal over his benefits rights.

Steven Mifsud, of St Lawrence Court, looks set to receive up to four years of payments from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) after a long-running legal battle.

The dad-of-two, who was born profoundly deaf, has fought his case for five years while running his Nantwich-based company Direct Access, which specialises in disability access audits.

Now, according to his legal representatives, a DLA Upper Tribunal has found in Steven’s favour.

This means he could be due one of the the largest Disability Living Allowance back pay awards in the UK.

Steven, who has two daughters Georgia, 13, and Jasmine, 10 weeks, has worn two hearing aids most of his life, and in 2012 had surgery to have a cochlear implant fitted.

Despite needing constant assistance, the DWP denied him mobility allowance and awarded a reduced care allowance.

However, a tribunal judge earlier this month suggested he should have been awarded middle care allowance and lower mobility allowance between May 2 2012 and May 1 2016 – which amounts to £19,760.

Steven, (pictured with wife Judith), says he was even accused in the hearing by the DWP of being a bad father because he could not hear his daughter cry.

“It’s almost like you have to throw dignity out of the window, completely degrade yourself in order to get anywhere,” he told Nantwichnews.

“It was very difficult to be in court explaining that I couldn’t hear my daughter cry.

“Strong words but that’s how I feel, 100%.

“The current DWP forms are so unhelpful.

“It is important to answer the ‘questions correctly’ when people with hearing impairments are asked ‘if they can cook a meal’.

“The majority like me would say yes of course, but would not even think about mentioning that they wouldn’t hear a microwave ping or timer or pan boiling over.

“That’s how unfriendly the DWP claims process is, and is why I recommend getting professional help.

“I just hope this story inspires other people with a disability to go out there and claim what is entitled to them.

“And not to give up at the first hurdle which is what the current benefit system seems to do.”

Steven, who runs his own company at Regents Park, off London Road, Nantwich, was supported in his fight by

Maurice McDermott, director of claims at, said: “This client has fought for five years for recognition of his quite obvious disabilities.

“We are pleased that following our expert representation he has been awarded the vital assistance he needs.”

The DWP declined to comment on Steven’s case specifically, as they say “it is ongoing”.

A DWP spokesman said: “People in receipt of DLA are generally those who have difficulty walking or require a significant amount of personal care, with award decisions based on the effects of a claimant’s medical condition on their day-to-day life.

“This is an ongoing legal case and to suggest a decision has been made is not correct. For that reason we are unable to comment further.”


  1. Christopher Benson says:

    Before working with Benefit Tribunals Net, I would do your homework on the owner of the business. I fear for the claimant.

    • says:

      Hi Christopher, is owned by DCM, the largest award winning not for profit law firm in the UK which gives all money to charity ( I fear that anonymous posts trying to scare people is all you can do, if were wrong feel free to write to us with your name and address we will be happy to reply.

  2. Let's see says:

    Thank you ‘disgusted deaf man’; people like you and ‘Wow’, who really understand the issues are right to query the claim. As Ann says there are aspects that ‘beggar belief’. Allowances must be available to those who need them. I hope this case reaches the correct conclusion; let’s wait and see.

  3. Annonymous says:

    I applaud this gentleman for highlighting the inconsistencies of the current system. I hope this case will encourage other disabled people to come forward. I know of many deaf people who get middle care and lower mobility, none of them have spoken up about it – kudos to this gent.

    The comment above about using the mobility component to fund a car is daft. It is every person’s individual right to choose whether they apply for benefits or not. Mobility is also known as the ‘getting around’ element which is something deaf people can find more difficult than the general person, it is nothing to do about whether you can physically walk or not.

    Choosing a different route because of cars when other people are frequently using a route is the whole point of DLA, it is there to create independence.

    The comment by DWP about DLA generally going to people who have difficult walking is completely wrong, it is there to help everyone across the whole spectrum of disability whether you have a vision impairment, hearing impairment, learning disabilities etc

    Thank you Steven for being brave and sharing, you will inspire others to do the same.

  4. it beggars belief that deaf parents can be accused of being bad parents because they cannot hear their children crying. How can it be that we still live in a world with such ignorance about disabilities. Myself and my brother were brought up by 2 profoundly deaf parents who were loving and hard working and we turned out fine. Shame on you DWP

  5. this is mad… Well done to him fighting it for so long but does he really need it? If you compare it to other cases like mine: I am deaf and going blind (ushers) & they wouldn’t give me recently any dla until i appealed – i got lower care rate only. Its strange because before I started having visual problems I had middle care / lower mobility (same as this guy just got) but NOW that I need double amount of support they awarded me nothing until I appealed but still got less than before when I was less disabled.. Its mad the way dla awards work.. Very random & erratic.

  6. Disgusted Deaf Man says:

    Shame on you!

    I am a profoundly Deaf man who also has a Cochlear Implant, I use BSL and can speak. I struggle at the best of times to hear things with my hearing aids until my implant. But I never let this stop me and I am proud of what I have achieved!

    If you need mobility to pay for a car…All I can say is no you don’t. Pay for it like the rest of us or use your free NATIONAL BUS PASS! If you are scared of crossing the road in case you get run over…cross somewhere safer! In the 30+ years I have been alive, I have NEVER EVER been run over! Shame on you!

    I am being picky here but I have to point out that according to alot of my hearing friends & family: not every hearing person can hear the microwave ping so it is your responsibility to make sure you keep an eye on the microwave. Shame on you!

    I don’t think my deaf peers should get the Mobility Component of DLA. I am absolutely furious that this was even allowed to go as far as court!

    If someone is deaf and gets the Mobility Component, it should be if that person has an additional disability such as unable to walk so uses a wheelchair not because the person has a hidden disability and feels they are entitled!

    I have a family, I and my wife work and we are very successful with our lives. We don’t have mega money and we make sure that we do not go without.

    Shame on you…shame on you!

    • what an appalling little man you are wouldn’t be a fraud would ytou?

    • Shame on you? says:

      This comment with endless ‘Shame on you’ is sad.. I wish more people like Stephen would speak up and help! My daughter is deaf and we have been struggling to claim DLA, now we have the confidence to try again. This idiot’s comment should be removed.

    • if it makes you fee any better, when the area goes over to PIP (probably very soon, if not already) then there is a very good chance he will loose the mobility element anyway as it is based on your physical ability and only takes minor notice of any need for supervision when getting arround. In fact, as seems to be the case with about 20% or more of all claims, he will lose the lot. :-/

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