Stevenage stroke victim’s government benefit fight

Michael Tamayo says he is struggling to cope after having a stroke

Michael Tamayo says he is struggling to cope after having a stroke - Credit: Archant

A man who has been left partially paralysed by a stroke is appealing against the government’s decision not to award him disability benefits.

Michael Tamayo, of Grace Way in Stevenage, suffered a severe stroke on June 10 last year that has left him unable to use his left arm and leg fully.

Since his stroke, the former bricklayer and father-of-one has been unable to work, a situation he says will not change.

Mr Tamayo told the Comet that the Department of Work and Pensions has judged that he is not eligible to receive Personal Independence Payment – which replaced the Disability Living Allowance in April last year.

The 54-year-old, whose eyesight and hearing has also been affected by the stroke, said: “I can never work again and can only use half my body. When they carried out their tests they said because I can get dressed and cook for myself that I don’t need any support. But I’ve got burn marks all over my arms from when I use the oven and it takes me a long time to get dressed.


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“It’s incredibly hard for me to cope and I don’t feel I’m getting the support that I need from the government. All I receive is the Employment Support Allowance of £100 a week which is hardly enough to survive on.

“The Stroke Association has supported me which is fantastic but they can only do so much and I need more.”

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A DWP spokesman said: “In determining someone’s entitlement to PIP, people have a thorough face-to-face assessment with a health professional, taking into account all available medical evidence, to assess whether an impairment impacts on an individual’s everyday life.

“We are looking again at our decision on Mr Tamayo’s case as part of our new streamlined mandatory reconsideration process.”

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