An obese man and his wife, featured in a new show about people who claim disability benefits because of their weight, say neither of them is in any condition to hold a job. For this reason, on top of supporting them, taxpayers also ended up paying for their wedding.
Stephen Beer and Michelle Coombe are set to be featured in an episode of the new U.K. documentary, “Benefits: Too Fat To Work.” Beer and Coombe live in Plymouth, Devon, and, according to the Daily Mail, nearly 60 percent of adults in that area are overweight.
Coombe, who weighs more than 320 pounds, says she’s never had a job in her life, and Beer, tipping the scales at more than 430 pounds, hasn’t worked in five years. Beer reportedly relies on caretakers that come in multiple times per day to clean and dress him, as he is too big to take care of himself.
The couple gets just over $3,000 per month in government benefits.
Many people have criticized the documentary and the people featured on it, but in a recent interview, Beer defended himself, saying that he has been turned down for jobs because of his weight, but ultimately acknowledging that he doesn’t deserve benefits from the government.
“The government are making it easy for people like us,” Beer said frankly. “I don't think I deserve benefits — I put myself in the situation. I'm trying to sort myself out.”
In the show, producers followed Coombe and Beer as they planned their wedding, which, in total, cost more than $4,500 that came directly from government benefits, which are ultimately covered by the taxpayer.
The Channel Five show features others in similar situations, but Beer and Coombe have received a lot of criticism for the situation they find themselves in.