TORY welfare rules are leaving some of the nation's poorest and most vulnerable families destitute at Christmas.

For Kirsty Tibbitt, every day is filled with anxiety and stress as she cares for her son who is battling a severe respiratory condition. Now she and her son have been left with just a pittance to survive on over the holiday season after the family’s disability benefits were suddenly stopped.

Tibbitt, 44, found herself caught up in a bureaucratic nightmare after she faced difficulties completing an application form for a new type of benefit because her son Jordan, 16, who has a condition called brittle asthma, was extremely ill.

The family, who live near Glasgow, is now struggling to pay essential bills and even to afford food let alone Christmas dinner and presents. Tibbitt said she has received no help from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

Tibbitt said she was disgusted at the uncaring and “inflexible” attitude of the current benefits system under the Tory government.

She said: “How can you do that to a human being – and to a human being at Christmas who is sick? Jordan is blaming himself because of the state we are in at the moment.

“It is not his fault, it is not my fault, it is no-one’s fault, it is just that is the way it is and you have got to get on with it. But why make it more difficult for people? That is what I don’t understand.

“I am so stressed, I have not slept in days thinking about how do I tell my son Christmas is cancelled? We have got nothing.”

She added: “There have got to be people who are worse than me and Jordan and many more people like us in our situation. The Tories are doing it to save a few quid and yet they can pay £105,000 for a bomb to drop on Syria.”

The medical condition which Jordan suffers is a form of asthma which is extremely difficult to control. Sufferers can go from being well to extremely ill within a short space of time.

He takes around 12 different medications a day, including strong steroids which affect his bones, and is often too unwell to attend school. His mother often has to watch him round-the-clock to make sure his condition does not suddenly deteriorate.

Tibbitt said: “He has nearly died on us, I don’t know how many times. Sometimes you think he is absolutely fine and then the next moment you are in hospital with him.

“If I take him to A&E we have got a letter for the hospital which means they have to admit him and he has to be seen by a respiratory consultant – they are not allowed to send him home as he can go downhill so quickly.”

Tibbitt, a single mother who has no other support from family or friends, applied for disability living allowance (DLA) on behalf of her son after she gave up working in an office in order to care for Jordan.

She was awarded the benefit for one year, along with a carer’s allowance, but when her son recently turned 16 she was told she would have to apply for a new form of benefit for him, known as Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

However, when Jordan feel ill she failed to complete the form in time for the DWP’s deadline due to the gravity of her son's illness. He had to be admitted to hospital for nearly a week and has been in and out for various appointments, including a bronchoscopy under general anaesthetic to examine his airways. He has also been diagnosed with an inflammation in his hip bone, which the doctors believe could be linked to the strong steroids he has to take, and has been given crutches to help him walk.

Tibbitt received a letter from the DWP in late November saying her son's application for PIP had been rejected because the form had not been sent back in time. On same day she phoned the DWP to advise them of the circumstances why, sent the application form by recorded delivery and was told a decision would then be given in 10 days.

But just days ago, letters arrived from the DWP advising the DLA and her carer’s allowance had been stopped. Tibbitt said she has been told there is no record of her previous conversation with the DWP and it will take up to nine weeks to consider the PIP application - leaving her all but destitute well into the New Year.

She is now facing having to live on just over £100 a week from tax credits and family allowance – but paying for just her rent and electricity alone will account for more than half of that. She also needs to pay for her car and a phone - both of which are essential to caring for Jordan.

Tibbitt worries that she won't even be able to buy basic food supplies, let alone anything approaching a Christmas dinner for her and her son. Presents are out of the question.

She said: “What they are doing is putting people in complete and utter poverty.”

The DWP said there was no reason given on the application form for it being late.

A spokesman said: “Personal Independence Payment is a major reform which ensures that support is targeted at those who need it most. Claimants have up to one month to return the completed form but can ask for additional time if needed and they can ask a friend, relative, care provider or external organisation to assist them with completion.

“In this case, as requested, we are reconsidering the claim based on the reasons we now have for the form being returned late. We will look in to the claim and contact the family direct.”