photo credit: dominikgolenia via photopin cc
A disabled stroke survivor has been forced to sell his home after being told he would be stripped of his disability benefits.

The 59-year-old, who does not wished to be named, was forced to give up his 16-year job in engineering after suffering a devastating stroke in July 2012.

Left unable to walk, and suffering from speech problems and memory loss, he claimed Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA). He was also given a blue badge and mobility scooter, reports the Northern Echo.

Despite needing round-the-clock care from his daughter Anna Hewinson, the struggling stroke victim was ordered to attend a 45-minute assessment for the new disability benefit Personal Independence Payment (PIP), which is replacing DLA as part of the government’s widespread welfare changes.

Even with his many health problems, tougher eligibility rules meant he was later told he wasn’t eligible for PIP, leaving his income reduced by more than half. He was also stripped of his blue badge and mobility scooter.

The family is in the process of appealing the decision.

The money he receives in ESA isn’t enough to cover household bills and pay the mortgage, which means he has had to sell his home and move in with his daughter in Darlington.

Mrs Hewinson told the Northern Echo: “It has made me so angry. He has worked his whole life and has never claimed benefits before.

“It is as if they have picked him out and said we are going to strip him of everything he has got.

“It is hard to see somebody who has been financially independent and who has worked their whole life have everything stripped away.”

She added: “This will be happening all over the country to people who haven’t got anyone to fight for them.

“If we hadn’t been here for him, they would have effectively been leaving him homeless.

“I feel a bit frightened about my future. I always thought you would be looked after as long as you paid in, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.”

A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “This Government is absolutely committed to supporting disabled people and we continue to spend around £50bn a year on disabled people and their services.

“A decision on whether someone is entitled to PIP is based on a thorough assessment and consideration of any medical evidence including from a claimant’s GP.

“People have the right to appeal if they disagree with a decision.”


  1. They can appeal, yeah, but how long does that take, and do they get anything to live on while they’re waiting for the process to run it’s course??

    • When you appeal a DWP Decision you are still entitled to Benefits whilst the appeal goes through. Until a month ago disabled people still got their full money but it is changing to they receive JSA rate. which for an adult over 25 its around £72.00 a week plus any rent entitlement and council tax rebate. The time it takes to appeal can vary from region to region and depending how many appeals are waiting. But people should not look at the length of time the appeal takes. As that is what the DWP and Ian Duncan Use to also stop people appealing. But all claimants should remember they have lost those benefit payments any way so they have nothing to lose by appealing. If they have a life long Illness that gets worse over time and their is no cure. and they win their appeal they can ask a judge to rule a time frame for the next medical check. The DWP must stand by it. You can also ask a judge in the appeal to rule on whether your fit for the Work Capability program part of ESA so you stop the DWP trying to force you onto work part of ESA and they put you in the right group as if you win your appeal you win it on the grounds you are not fit for work But the DWP may try put you in the ESa work activity group. which is illegal as it breaches health and safety laws. The same as the DWP cannot stop you telling a prospective employer you are on medication which impedes your daily work routine and risks accidents in work place as by law a person has to tell the employer. if they are on medication and have been told not to work by a GP or hospital consultant. Yet the DWP Claim a person can avoid telling a Employer knowing full well it breaks the law if a person tells a lie to gain employment.
      All DWP Claimants should face the DWP as if they are facing a Natural enemy as they are the Natural enemy of a Benefit claimant today. They are told not to Tell claimants about interim payments and hardship payment sunless they are specifically asked about them.
      My advice is appeal everything and all claimants should seek independent Welfare advice before making any claim. having an idea of the benefits you may be able to claim when going on benefits helps you get what your entitled to.
      Around £4 Billion is saved every year by the DWP by not telling people what they are entitled to.

      • The duplicity of the DWP needs sorting out – they’re certainly not in the business of helping anyone except Iain Duncan Smith. That needs to stop. Interesting what you say about lifelong illness and the ESA WAG. I have rheumatoid arthritis, which I am still struggling to control with drugs, and that’s where they’ve put me. Not due a review until next year, but if my situation is still the same then (taking drugs which make me sick, dizzy and a space cadet!) I may go down the route you suggest.

  2. The fact is this government are out to save money, money, money and the disabled are a good target as are the job seekers too. We are easy because we are disabled. We have no rights at all. Trust me there will be hoards of people homeless and on the streets because of what the Tories are doing and have done. God help us all if they get in again. Labour are like wolves in sheep’s clothing so don’t expect much off them either. What about all that money people like myself and my husband of course have paid into the system for all of our lives which is a long time working 44 years until we were both forced to give up through ill health.We are not people that have just come into the country, we are British and as such should be treated with respect and looked after by our peers.

    • It’s called social cleansing, like they are doing in London. They already have 10,600 suicides on their hands since the WCAs. The more that commit suicide the better for them because they don’t have to pay them and in their eyes they are ridding the country of scum. Bit like the Nazis before the haulocaust, they were killing off people who couldn’t work, calling them useless eaters because they weren’t contributing to the country. Only thing is they were open about it, this lot are doing it by going in the back door, hoping no-one will notice.

      • I totally agree Sandra and they are being allowed to getting away with murdering people. Prisoners get treated better in prisons !!

        • When you come to understand that the Conservative hate the disabled and unemployed more then the criminal you will know never to trust them again.
          To a Conservative the majority of criminals are just like them. trying to get ahead by any means what so ever. so they take other peoples goods and money well isn’t that what the MP’s do on a daily basis. doesn’t matter if they have tu right to take the money they steal it anyway the expense scandal showed us that. crime and the political class walk hand in hand.

      • I was told by an 89 year old berlin lady “you know hitler had some good ideas,getting people into work,building autobahns,promoting healthy living,we had no idea what was going on,about the concentration camps,we didn’t know it was happening “, yet she still says he had good ideas..frightening

        • One old German told me they were no concentration camps in German. Belsen was a slimming clinic, where Jews and gypsies and Russians went to lose weight and the reason why so many died was because no one had a good understanding of anorexia in those days. Seems they all wanted a size zero waist line but many didn’t understand they could not sustain it. So he blamed the fashion world back then and if we look back to the flapper generation they were pretty skinny back then. and every one wanted to dance in those days.

  3. If the DWP and its outsourcing minions were to get it right people shouldn’t have to appeal. It is blatantly obvious they got it wrong in this case. But this whole exercise is not about helping anybody, it is purely to cut benefits. And don’t expect any change if Labour get in. Rachel Reeves is just IDS in Drag.

  4. scary this government doesnt even pretend to care about the sick and disabled,like they used too. If you are not working due to what ever reason, you are not a citizen. conveniently wiped out of existence. people should think though, it could happen to anyone, no one is safe.

  5. People have to understand when Ian Duncan Smith Dreamed up PIP the report final two paragraphs read. The Aim of the PIP Medical is to reduce 500,000 People from claiming DLA/Mobility. whether in work at time of assessment or not.
    The Pip Medical is administered and the firms doing it earn bonus payments for successfully removing peoples welfare payments. Always appeal any sanctioning of benefits. you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. The DWP do not show up to 90% of appeals as they know they are going to lose. The doctors preforming the medicals are not even there to explain their own statement of a claimants health. As Ian Duncan Smiths rely’s on the hope people are to ill to appeal against his fake medicals.

  6. They shouldn,t have to appeal !!!! they are not blind or deaf ( The DWP that is) just pig bloody ignorant to a persons disability, needs and the way it impacts on their quality or lack of quality of life. How can they call 45 mins “A thorough examination” The only people who should be assessing these people are members of their medical teams the patients own Doctors and Specialists. This is tantamount to the Nazi gas chambers in the 2nd world war ffs . Prisoners in prison have more rights today.

    • I have always said exactly the same thing about the Nazi gas chambers. This government will not be happy until no disabled person is claiming any benefit what so ever, it does not matter if you have paid into the system for years because you are still labelled a scrounger. I just don’t know where this is all going to end. I totally agree about the medicals and the use of nurses to do the medicals instead of the patients own GP or even another GP or Specialist, it is crazy and for a man to sell his house because of this is just not on. Perhaps we should all go to prison because we will be well looked after and have our rights like you said.

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