Tony Rice is the real life Daniel Blake. He is 51 and has depression and PTSD. According to his doctor he is not fit for work but the Department for Work and Pensions think otherwise. They moved him from ESA to Universal Credit and the problems have not stopped. He has been repeatedly sanctioned for failing his ‘Claimant commitment’ of job-searching for 35 hours per week - Tony is unable to use a computer and often finds getting out of bed in the morning a struggle. With Citizens Advice’s help, he is challenging these sanctions, but the process is slow and in the meantime, his benefit allowance has stopped. He also wants to challenge the assessment by the DWP that found him fit for work but he can’t until a ‘mandatory reconsideration’ has been issued. He has chased this many times, to deafening silence from the Universal Credit department. The system simply is not working.
As a result, Tony has been living off £114.33 a month (that’s £26 a week) and has been relying on food banks. His rent arrears are now up to a staggering £10,000. As a result, he is being evicted from his Council home. Until the Universal Credit sanctions are lifted, he cannot afford his rent.
We are raising money for Tony to help him pay off his rent arrears and lift him out of this hole he has found himself in. Even just the smallest donation will go a long way to ensuring Tony has a roof over his head.
Read more about Tony's story in this Mirror article and on Twitter.
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