Payments withdrawn over course at college

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Indy Politics
TERRY TYRREL is fighting to get his invalidity benefit restored. He has been doing so for the past 12 months.

The Department of Social Security decided that Mr Tyrrel, 30, from Strood in Kent, who suffered head injuries in a car crash in 1988, was no longer entitled to benefit because he attended college one day a week.

Formerly a computer consultant on pounds 17,000 a year, he now gets pounds 107 a week from sickness benefit and income support. He has two children, a pounds 40,000 mortgage and his wife works.

'She's had to take on the breadwinning role. We can't live on what's provided. It's pathetic,' he said. 'Not just the social security system, the whole accident insurance system.'

Suffering from dizzy spells, anxiety and unable to concentrate, he tried to return to work but the combination of his injuries and his drug therapy turned him into a 'half crazy', he said.

'My left side is basically up the creek since the accident. I was suffering a mixture of mental, physical and anxiety symptoms. I went back to college to build up my mental faculties.'

He enrolled for an HND course in computer studies but the DSS told him that if he could attend college he could work.

Although the payments were only pounds 45, Mr Tyrrel said he would by now have been on a much higher benefit level. His second appeal against the withdrawal of benefit will be heard soon.

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