Disabled builder has benefits suspended
BRICKLAYER Timothy Howle went without benefits for almost two months while he waited for his fitness to be reassessed.
The 63-year-old spent 30 years as a self-employed bricklayer but was left unable to work after an operation on his spine in 2010.
He fell foul of the Government's decision to end Employment Support Allowance after 12 months, leaving him to manage entirely on his wife's modest income.
But the DWP eventually agreed to award Mr Howle about £220-a-month in income-related ESA after an Atos assessment.
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Mr Howle, pictured left, of Sorrento Grove, Meir Hay, believes the process causes significant stress for claimants.
He said: "It was terrible at the time.
"Imagine you have a wage coming in and that stops.
"You then get by on the minimum in benefits - before that stops as well.
"I was left to rely on my wife and run a household on very little."