Chesterton benefits claimant told: 'You can't appeal- this letter says you're dead'
DISABLED Tim Green has been declared fit enough to work by the Government – a week after officials said he was dead.
Civil servants wrote to the 58-year-old's relatives to say he would no longer have to attend an appeal against a decision to take away his benefits because he 'had died'.
The letter was sent to Tim's shocked ex-wife Jane, who helps him fill out paperwork because he is partially blind.
Tim, of Rowley Avenue, Chesterton, said: "My family were worried sick. They knew I had been feeling unwell – and then my ex-wife received a letter saying I was dead.
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"She was straight on the phone to my mother.
"I couldn't believe it when I heard what was in the letter – I'm certainly not dead."
He added: "I haven't been able to work since a piece of metal went through my eye when I was bricklaying in 2004."
The father-of-one – who also suffers with hip, leg and shoulder problems – has been told he is fit enough to seek work and faces losing £40-a-week employment support allowance benefit. He appealed against the Department for Work and Pensions' decision.
Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS), which was due to decide on his appeal, announced his death in a letter. The letter stated: "The appeal was delayed as the appellant had died. I have now abated the appeal, which will not go forward to a tribunal hearing."
But a week later the service ruled Tim is in fact alive and well enough to seek employment.
Self-employed accountant Jane, aged 55, of Madeley, said: "It was pretty horrible to receive the letter. We can laugh about it now but when it happened I started shaking and wondering how I'd tell our daughter."
HMCTS officials have now issued a formal apology, adding: "This letter was sent in error. We are taking steps to ensure that proper procedures are followed in future."