A DYING widower has been left with just £15 a week for food after the DWP declared him "fit to work" and slashed his benefits.
Darryl Nicholson, 47, suffers from a chronic lung disease that leaves him too exhausted to dress – but jobcentre penpushers said he's capable of getting a job.
The dad, from Newcastle, has stage three emphysema and also suffers from bronchitis asthma, anxiety, and depression.
His wife died from cancer when she was just 36, and now docs have said he has just two years to live.
He told the Newcastle Chronicle: "But because I can hold a pen, open a door and use technology, they think I am fit for work.
"Doing simple tasks, such as getting dressed, can leave me breathless.
LIVES ON £15 A WEEK FOR FOOD
"I live in a bungalow and the bus stop outside is 50 to 70 metres away that I can't walk to so I get taxis, which I now struggle to afford."
After shelling out £48 for his phone bill, £60 a month for electricity and £10 for gas, Darryl is left with around £15 per week for food.
He said: "Sometimes I only have one meal a day, and there are days where I go with no food.
"It is atrocious and is like going back to the Second World War. It is like a slow genocide."
The Sun wants to Make Universal Credit Work
Universal Credit replaces six benefits with a single monthly payment.
One million people are already receiving it and by the time the system is fully rolled out in 2023, nearly 7 million will be on it.
But there are big problems with the flagship new system – it takes 5 weeks to get the first payment and it could leave some families worse off by thousands of pounds a year.
And while working families can claim back up to 85 per cent of their childcare costs, they must find the money to pay for childcare upfront – we’ve heard of families waiting up to 6 months for the money.
Working parents across the country told us they’ve been unable to take on more hours – or have even turned down better paid jobs or more hours because of the amount they get their benefits cut.
It’s time to Make Universal Credit work. We want the government to:
- Get paid faster: The government must slash the time Brits wait for their first Universal Credit payments from five to two weeks, helping stop 7 million from being pushed into debt.
- Keep more of what you earn: The work allowance should be increased and the taper rate should be slashed from from 63p to 50p, helping at least 4 million families.
- Don’t get punished for having a family: Parents should get the 85 per cent of the money they can claim for childcare upfront instead of being paid in arrears.
Together, these changes will help Make Universal Credit Work.
Join our Universal Credit Facebook group or email [email protected] to share your story.
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A DWP spokesman said: “Decisions for ESA are made by medical professionals following consideration of all the information provided by the claimant, including evidence from their GP or medical specialist.
“There is a free and independent appeals process where claimants can provide any further documentation.
"Mr Nicholson continues to receive benefits and support during his appeal and is not required to seek work."
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