Nearly 125,000 people with psychological conditions who got Disability Living Allowance have been hit by the switch to ability-assessed Personal Independence Payment, says the charity Mind.

Victim James Downs lost his PIP despite life-threatening bulimia, obsessive compulsive disorder, depression and anxiety.

Claimants have been affected by the move to ability-assessed Personal Independence Payment

His housing benefit was also reduced and, facing eviction, he considered suicide. He said: “I was desperate to binge eat because of the distress but had no money.

“I even got to the point of having to steal food from bins and shops. I was very ashamed. I lost hope.”

James – studying for a Masters in psychology and education at Cambridge – lost an appeal before a tribunal finally reinstated his PIP.

One victim told how it took nine months for his PIP payments to restart after they were stopped 

But it took another two months for payments to restart – nine months after they were stopped.

The Sunday Mirror’s Time To Change campaign is fighting to end discrimination against people with mental health conditions.

Paul Spencer of Mind said: “We need to see the Government make PIP work by overhauling the way they train and recruit assessors.”