An IRA bomb survivor has been “betrayed” and driven to the brink of suicide by the benefits system.

Dominic Felton, 55, has suffered severe post-traumatic stress disorder since being injured in a 1992 terror attack which killed a fellow soldier.

The hero said tests for Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independence Payments are inhumane and dangerous.

Mr Felton, who cannot face going into busy centres for benefit assessments, said: “These tests trigger flashbacks, stress, panic attacks.

“People are dying because of them. The Government is killing and betraying its heroes.

“They carry on with quick-fire ­questions even if they see the distress they put you under.”

The last one pushed him into taking an overdose in September, his third suicide bid.

He said paramedics “only just got to me in time.”

He was not diagnosed with PTSD until 2010.

The condition and survivor’s guilt has cost him jobs, relationships and even his freedom.

In 1997 he spent six months in Strangeways prison, Manchester, for attacking four policemen after “self-medicating” on drink.

Mr Felton was with 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, when a 2,200lb bomb blew up the Army’s Cloghoge checkpoint, Co Armagh, in May 1992.

Fellow Fusilier Andrew Grundy, 22, was killed and six comrades were injured.

Mr Felton had shrapnel injuries and his ears were bleeding as he was dragged through a window of the steel armoured sentry post. Earlier he had swapped posts with Andrew.

Dominic, who lives in Blyth, Northumberland with partner Leslie Scott, volunteers with veterans’ charity Forward Assist was due to have a Department of Works assessment for his weekly £109 ESA last December but could not face it.

The department has now agreed to do the tests at his home.

A spokesman said all new assessors get PTSD training and added: “We are fully signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant to ensure veterans get the support they deserve.”

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