Another ESA-related death but the DWP wants us to believe there’s no connection


The latest person to die while facing a change to his sickness benefit is Neil Groves, who was hit by a train at Surbiton station on his 46th birthday.

Mr Groves died just after 7.30pm on February 13. His father Ronald, 78, told local paper the Kingston Guardian a potential change to his son’s Employment and Support Allowance “must have” weighed on him.

He said: “He has obviously had it in his mind. They basically told him that his assessment was coming up again.

“He knew it probably would be the end of his sickness and disability and he would go back on to [Jobseekers’ Allowance].

“He said he would not be able to manage on that wage a week. It is all part and parcel of it.”

Mr Groves had received Incapacity Benefit for some years, his father said, which was stopped after an assessment, and he was not moved on to ESA.

He later won an appeal against the decision.

He had recently been diagnosed with chronic depression.

You can read the story on the newspaper’s website.

The DWP, in an email to the Information Commissioner that was copied to yr obdt srvt as part of the disclosure process for the forthcoming tribunal on claimant mortality statistics, has stated: “There is no evidence of a link between the death of an individual and their receipt of a social security benefit.”

Do you think that’s accurate?

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22 thoughts on “Another ESA-related death but the DWP wants us to believe there’s no connection

  1. Dave Rowlands

    How does anyone with any inkling of humanity allow this kind of thing happen on a daily basis? I believe that you have to be some kind of monster to actually work and expect to be paid (from the contributions of those being harassed) for the inhumane way you treat a fellow human being.

  2. Thomas M

    This government hates disabled people, be it driving them to suicide, starving them to death, making them work as slaves or be homeless, or driving them into committing crime to get food.

    1. aturtle05

      Sorry Thomas, I think you have that slightly wrong. This government LOVES disabled people, they are the perfect target and every one of us that commits suicide or dies when being pushed into JSA rather than ESA is one more off the unemployment totals!

  3. A6er

    Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating and commented:
    How many more poor souls must die before a public correlation is made between these unnecessary deaths and the dreaded Work Capability Assessment, not to mention the entire benefit system too.
    With the previously known 10,000+ deaths within 6 weeks of an ESA/DLA claim ending, and an estimated further 30,000+ from 2012 to 2014,this is fast approaching genocide on a massive scale. This is the United Kingdom for f***’s sake, with a supposed ELECTED government, not some military junta from South America or a Military Dictatorship like North Korea!

  4. Ian Jd Andrews

    NO EVIDENCE ??? are these people in the same universe, let alone the same planet as us ? … OK Mr DWP theres one right here and we have a file with at least 500 others

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  6. Clive Cheer

    Its all conjucture, there could have been many things on his mind at the time. Not saying it wanst one of the things but it cant have been the only thing.

    1. Mike Sivier

      I’m not buying that. Look at Stephanie Bottrill, the woman who walked in front of a lorry after being subjected to the Bedroom Tax (wrongly). She left a note saying that this was why she did it.
      For some people – especially those who suffered from depression as this man did – being suddenly told that your financial lifeline is being taken away can weigh heavily on their mind. They don’t know how they will be able to survive and their minds turn to the belief that the solution might be simply to stop living.
      We have seen it time and time again.

      1. Clive Cheer

        Hi Mike ,I was commenting on this case individually. I do believe that it is the case in some instances. However as we are not mindreaders in this mans case saying it must have weighed is not conclusive. As it was on his birthday perhaps the fact he was single on his birthday and many many other factors helped not just an impending review that might have gone in his favour.

      2. Mike Sivier

        I think the threat to his life and health represented by the possible loss of his benefit outweighs concerns about marital status. You’re grasping at straws and I think we’ll have to agree to differ.
        Here’s a link to a document by the World Health Organisation about the link between poverty and health:
        I recommend you read it.

    2. Graham Hughes

      It might not have been the only thing on his mind but no one could seriously claim that for someone diagnosed with depression facing the prospect of losing his only source of income or even the stress of going through the assessment process once again would not have been a contributory factor to that depression. It is hardly something that was going to improve his mental state is it?

      The whole point of social security is to provide financial security when people need it. If the system was being operated properly then it should have ensured that Mr. Groves at least knew that he did not have to worry about not being able to afford his living expenses while he was suffering from depression. It should have alleviated his worries not added to them.

  7. Pingback: Another ESA-related death but the DWP wants us to believe there’s no connection | Far be it from me -

  8. backscratchers2013

    Reblogged this on Fruit & Anger Management and commented:
    So sad. Wake up Britain – keep an eye out for your neighbours and let your elected representative know if anyone is being starved out of society. We are all in it together allegedly…or rather the good will of individuals and community projects is being stretched to capacity.
    If anyone wants to contact me about implementing methods to prevent this appalling situation recurring, I have a project draft I want to give away and pilot ASAP.

    1. Mike Sivier

      I’ve bolded up the last paragraph in order to attract attention from people who should see this. Please get in touch with each other and see what can be done.

  9. Phil The Folk

    The response from the DWP just confirms what I’ve been saying since 2007…..
    the people responsible for creating and administering this system, are not human beings by any method any sane person would use to guage them as such!
    They must therefore be the worst example of any description of what it is to be a human being!

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