A FAIFLEY man is pleading for help after being left to survive on basic government benefits with three children.

Brian McIntyre has had custody of his two nieces and nephew, who are all under the age of 16 for the past three years.

He was left without the child element of the Universal Credit after the Jobcentre in Clydebank switched him from Income Support seven months ago.

Since then he has been left to survive on £280 per month – which he says is nowhere near enough to get by.

He told the Post: “I am so stuck on where to go next. Right now I am doing everything I can to survive, but it isn’t enough.

“Now I also have to think about home-schooling and getting materials in for that, so there are some days where I go without to make sure the kids are fine.”

Brian, 32, said that when he approached the Jobcentre to ask why he wasn’t receiving the child element of Universal Credit for the three children, an official had told him it was because the children were in care.

However, Brian says he and his social worker have paperwork to prove he has custody of the three children.

He added: “I have all the documents I need to prove that the kids are in my care, but they still don’t believe me.

"Christmas Day was so hard as I wanted to give the kids everything, but I just knew I couldn’t, and that made me so depressed.

“All I want is help, but I feel like even that is too much to ask for. I feel like I’m being punished for doing a good thing.”

He has since contacted his local MP, Martin Docherty-Hughes, and a lawyer to see if they can help find a solution.

Mr Docherty-Hughes told the Post: “As a kinship carer to three young children, Mr McIntyre deserves the full financial support he is entitled to from the UK Government.

“Under Universal Credit, the Tories pledged they would ensure the benefits process is simplified. However, for too many people the UK’s social security system continues to be overly complex and fails to treat people with fairness, dignity, or respect.

“I have contacted both the DWP and HMRC on behalf of my constituent and will continue doing all I can as Mr McIntyre’s MP to help him get this matter resolved.

“Kinship carers provide a vital role and they must not be unfairly treated in accessing the support they need.”

A DWP spokesperson said: “All decisions are made using information that’s available to us at the time. If a decision is disputed then we will ask for further evidence to try and ensure that decisions are correct.

“We have asked Mr McIntyre to provide further evidence to support his claim and would encourage him to get in touch with us.”