Faye Dempsey said she broke down after her disability benefit suddenly stopped without warning this week
A former Stars in Their Eyes winner who is in such constant agony she said she could barely leave her home claims she has been stripped of her benefits just before Christmas.
Faye Dempsey said a condition called fibromyalgia made her feel like she had been “beaten from head to toe”.
But the 35-year-old said she broke down after her disability benefit suddenly stopped without warning this week.
The campaigner, who has led calls for fibromyalgia to be more widely recognised after she was diagnosed in 2015, had feared benefit officials would not take it seriously, the Liverpool Echo reports.
Now the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) appears to have decided it is not severe enough for her to qualify for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), which helps with the extra costs of long-term conditions and disabilities.
Faye Dempsey as Olivia Newton-John on Stars In Their Eyes in 1997
Ms Dempsey, from West Kirby, tweeted: “PIP stopped today, no warning.
“Happy Christmas to you too, DWP. Pain and suffering every day but I’m still helping trying to help people… losing my reasons to battle on.
“What will you to say to the families that lose people to suicide for Christmas?”
“I checked the bank and it just didn’t go in. Decision was on 18th, no warning or call.
The 35-year-old said she broke down after her disability benefit suddenly stopped without warning this week (Image: Liverpool Echo)
“The decision letter isn’t here yet even today and I need it to appeal. I’ve just broken down.”
Danielle Lloyd’s mum Jackie, who also has fibromyalgia, tweeted her support, saying: “They have stopped your PIP with all your health problems – honestly, someone needs to do something about this before anyone else takes their own life!”
Hundreds of thousands of people have been denied PIP in recent years after a controversial tightening of the rules by the government, stripping many of access to support including specially adapted cars.
Ms Dempsey previously told the ECHO: “People don’t understand the extreme pain you’re going through every day.
“With other illnesses you take a test that proves it, but with fibromyalgia it’s just that people have identical descriptions of how they feel.
The campaigner has led calls for fibromyalgia to be more widely recognised after she was diagnosed in 2015 (Image: Liverpool Echo)
“But there’s still so much stigma around it. We still come across stories of people having doctors tell them it doesn’t exist and refer to it as “bulls*** disease”.
“People ask why you’re not working, and one asked me if it was the ‘illness in your head’, like it was made up.
“But I feel like I’ve been beaten from head to toe, and like my ribs are bruised when I touch them.
“Sometimes you can’t even get up the stairs you are so tired, and sometimes people think you are drunk because you get a brain fog and talk so slowly.”
A DWP spokeswoman said: “Decisions for PIP are made following consideration of all the information provided by the claimant, including supporting evidence from their GP or medical specialist.
“Anyone who is unhappy with a decision can appeal, and may submit additional evidence.”