Broke builder told by taxman to personally sign up for £5,000 Covid grant despite being close to death in coma

A BUILDER in a coma is racking up debt after HMRC refused to give him a Covid-19 grant – despite his wife's pleas to HMRC. 

Chris Wall, 49, is on life-support while bills totalling hundreds of pounds have piled up. 

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The self-employed plasterer hasn't worked for months and his wife Sarah, 45, is terrified debt collectors may soon come knocking at their home Bristol.

The builder is entitled to a bailout grant, as the government has pledge that will pay 8 per cent of normal trading profits for November. 

It takes the maximum grant for solo workers from November to the end of January to £5,160.

But HMRC bosses told mum-of-two Sarah they can only pay the money if Chris signs up himself.

The builder is one of around 50 patients with severe respiratory failure receiving extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) treatment, at St Thomas' Hospital in London.

The ECMO machine transports blood into an artificial lung which adds oxygen and removes carbon dioxide.

Sarah told The Sun Online: "The NHS have been fantastic, but HMRC have been so unhelpful, I feel so let down.

"Chris has hundreds of pounds in bills coming out of his work bank account and soon the money will run out and we will be in deep trouble, all I know is that there isn't any money going in.

"Chris' accountant has also been trying to get hold of HMRC so he can receive his Covid-19 self-employed grant, but because he is in a coma and on life support they won't give it to him because he can't sign the paperwork.

"This is a grant for self-employed people who are affected by the coronavirus, which Chris clearly is but he can't receive it. If it went into his account his debts would be paid off."


Chris went into hospital at home in Bristol in October, but last month he was transferred to St Thomas' Hospital in London after his condition worsened.

Doctors have prepared Sarah and their two children for the worst, but the family are hoping the dad-of-two will pull through.

Sarah added: "It is an absolute nightmare, we are going through hell at the moment.

"I don't want access to Chris' money, I just want him to stop accumulating debt.

"Once the money in his work account is finished we will have debt collectors on our doorstep and I don't know how we will pay them all off.

"And if our prayers are answered and Chris pulls through I don't want him going through recovery with huge piles of debts to pay off."

HMRC have been approached for a comment.

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