Daniel Blake (Dave Johns), a 59-year-old carpenter living in Newcastle, England, has recently suffered a heart attack. Told by his doctor that he can't return to work, he applies for disability assistance. When his claim is denied, despite having papers from his doctor confirming his condition, Daniel has to sell off his furniture to survive. With no computer skills, he has a difficult time trying to find another way to make a living.
Single mother Katie (Hayley Squires), who has two children by two different fathers, is also struggling to survive. She's been relocated from London to Newcastle, where the cost of living is cheaper. Even so, she goes without food and other basic necessities in order to make sure her kids have enough. When Daniel meets her at the welfare office, he becomes a grandfatherly figure to her kids and tries to help by making some repairs to the apartment where they live.