BENEFIT assessors have ruled a man left almost blind by a road accident as fit to work – just weeks after he came out of a coma.
Alex Howe, from Coxhoe, County Durham, is blind in one eye and has severely reduced visibility in the other, struggles to walk and has lost hearing in one ear. He was left reeling when he was told he is not eligible for disability benefits.
The father-of-one said: “It feels like I’m being called a liar. It’s a big weight on me. I can’t believe it.”
Mr Howe was seriously injured in a crash on February 2, when he was thrown into a metal post after his motorbike collided with a car near the Poachers Pub in Metal Bridge, between Coxhoe and Spennymoor.
After being airlifted to hospital, the 35-year-old was in a coma for ten days and had to spend almost two months in hospital recovering. He had a fractured face, back and ribs, and punctured lungs.
Mr Howe, who was a chef at KFC before the accident, was discharged from hospital on March 30 and applied for the Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
Following an assessment, he found out this week that he was not eligible for the disability benefit.
He said: “It gets you down not being able to do stuff for myself. I can’t even play games with my daughter. I used to be able to cook anything and the other day I nearly set fire to the house making a bacon sandwich. It feels like the assessment has been written about someone else.”