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.”