A 36 Derry man who has been in a coma for seven years following a sectarian attack has been asked by the Social Security Agency if he is fit for work.
Paul McCauley was attacked by a gang at a barbecue on the Waterside in July 2006.
He suffered severe brain injuries and is now in a permanent vegetative state.
Paul McCauley’s father Jim told the BBC a 12-page document with 30 questions had been posted in December, wehich the family filled in. He said they tried to telephone the Social Security Agency, but didn’t get through to anyone.
He says they were later sent a second form, and assumed it was an error.
Mr McCauley says the entire family is “disgusted” at the insensitivity of the letter, which they received during Christmas week.
They filled in the form, attaching reports from a neurosurgeon and a GP.
He says the Social Security Agency should look at how they collect information, and show greater sensitivity should be shown for those involved in an industrial accident, a road accident, a sectarian or drunken attack.
He says the family has suffered a lot of trauma, and incidents such as this really rub salt in the wounds.