Man who had heart attack outside Job Centre has benefits slashed to £20 a week

Man who ‘died for 10 minutes’ due to severe heart problems has disability benefit cut to £20 a week

Exclusive: David Coe, 60, has disability support reduced by DWP to £20 a week despite courts ruling being forced to work would result in ‘substantial risk of further deterioration to his health’

A man whose heart stopped beating for almost 10 minutes after he suffered a cardiac arrest has had his disability benefits cut to just £20 a week.

David Coe, 60, fears the Tory benefit cuts will leave him dead after he collapsed just like the unemployed carpenter in Ken Loach’s movie.

David, who worked in catering for 20 years before falling ill, ‘flatlined’ for nine minutes and spent a week in hospital last February. He had been told to apply for work by benefit bosses even though he had earlier been signed off sick by a doctor for a heart condition. He said: ‘They are doing everything they can to kill me.’

Jonathan Moore, Chairman of Equal Lives charity, said: ‘This is yet another example of government policy putting profit making organisations before the needs of people.’ David got his first job at 11 years old selling pot plants on a market stall in 1968.

He then went on to train as a chef and worked in restaurants and pubs. Over ten years ago he suffered a heart attack aged just 46. His health deteriorated rapidly and David was forced to leave work after being diagnosed with coronary heart disease in 2015.

Last year the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) told him he was ‘fit for work’ after he nearly died outside a Job Centre. David appealed the decision and a tribunal ruled in his favour.

The judge said that his heart condition left him ‘significantly limited’ and that working would result in ‘substantial risk of further deterioration to his health’. But six months later he was reassessed and told that he was no longer eligible for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), a living allowance for people with disabilities. David, from Norwich, said: ‘I am waiting to go into hospital to have a procedure on my heart.

‘How am I fit to work? I am on 11 tablets a day.’ Daughter Rachel Britcher, 39, said: ‘I am absolutely sickened by this. My dad died for nearly ten minutes, but it doesn’t seem to be enough.’ Last month, it emerged disability benefit tests being overturned on appeal are at a record high.

Some 68% of all those who ask for a tribunal for PIP win their case, with 14,188 victories in the past three months, official figures show. Mark Atkinson, from disability charity Scope, said the figures show ‘our welfare system isn’t working for the disabled’. Ken Loach’s Bafta winning drama follows 59-year-old Daniel Blake recovering from a heart attack.

He is told he shouldn’t go back to work but struggles to receive benefits, becoming increasingly frustrated with his predicament. A DWP spokesperson said: ‘Decisions for PIP and ESA are made after careful consideration of all the evidence provided by the claimant, including supporting evidence from their GP or medical specialist. ‘Only a small proportion of all decisions are overturned at appeal – just 4% of PIP assessments and 5 % of ESA Work Capability Assessments.’

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