AN attack victim said he could have "starved to death" after he was told once again that he could not claim certain benefits, despite him pleading that he is in "extreme pain" due to the head injury he suffered in the assault.

Andrew Clarke, 35, from Worcester, says he suffers daily with “incapacitating nausea, deadly pain on the back of my brain that starts spreading after exercise, and a whole host of other problems.”

He says his symptoms are a result of a brain injury he acquired when he was the victim of an assault in 2016.

After the assault he was receiving Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP) but in October, both were stopped after the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said he was fit for work.

Mr Clarke, feeling this was unfair, has appealed and says he has had no income since his benefits were cut off.

“The extra stress, pain and pressure put on me has made me very ill," he said. "I was nearly overcome by pain on the back of my brain after it started spreading on December 7, after being forced to try and provide evidence to the DWP.”

Mr Clarke's appeal against the decision to stop his benefits will now go to a tribunal

“The tribunal could take 14 weeks on top of the 10 weeks it’s been since my benefits were stopped," he said. "If I didn’t have my family and friends to help with food, I would have probably starved to death. I have spent all Christmas with no money.”

Mr Clarke says he needs benefits to pay for transport for food shopping and hospital appointments. He said he recently had to call the 111 NHS number after his legs and arms went numb when he was “forced to carry food shopping.”

He said paramedics told him he needed to go to hospital, but fearing that he had no money to get himself home, he didn’t go.

On December 5, the DWP carried out a mandatory reconsideration of Mr Clarke’s ESA being cut off. His appeal was rejected.

Mr Clarke has now made another appeal, and this will go to a tribunal.

He is eligible to claim the Universal Credit benefit while unemployed, on the basis that he is fit for work, the DWP says.