Peter Duut, a Dutch national who lives inHaverhill, has worked long hours as a carpenter in theUKfor the past two-and-a-half years.
When he became term-inally ill with cancer in April he tried to claim benefits, only to be told that he does not qualify.
Peter and his wife Laurel have since been unable to afford enough food, and are battling with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to give them enough money to live off.
Laurelsaid: “Peter was advised to top the amount of Jobseeker’s Allowance up with Income Support. Being ill myself I was unable to advise Peter and to my horror realised that he had a payment of £55 pounds per week for both of us to live on and pay our bills with in our rental property.
“He was then told that he had failed his Habitual Residency test and that he had no right to reside in the UK, even though he had been paying all of his national insurance stamps and taxes.”
The pair tried appealing to the DWP and called on MP Matthew Hancock for help, but have yet to have their financial situation resolved.
After paying their bills, the couple are left with just 12p each day for food. Peter now weighs 9st 2lbs (58kg).
Laurelsaid: “He looks like a person who had been released from a prison of war camp and is unable to walk far due to frailty and breathlessness.
“He has developed stomach problems due to not eating regularly and very small amounts for such long periods of time and having no money for food.”
The DWP states that Dutch nationals can receive benefits only if they are active in the labour market, but Peter has widespread cancer and has been told by a doctor that he cannot work.
Laurelsaid: “I do know that the legal system is a cold system, yet where does one draw the line on torture and inhumane treatment or even right to life?”
Matthew Hancock MP said: “The case of Mr and Mrs Duut is difficult and complicated. I deal with many such cases, and am working to try to support the Duuts to find a solution.”
A spokesman for the DWP said: “We understand that this must be a difficult time for Mr and Mrs Duut and we are working with them to ensure they get the benefits they may be entitled to, such as Disability Living Allowance.”