Luke Loy had a life, until his benefits started falling away

Luke [got caught in a] familiar spiral: pushed off sickness benefits and unable to cope with the requirements of the jobcentre, he had his jobseeker’s allowance taken away.’ [Image: Natalie Jeffers.]

Another victim of a dodgy verdict by a coroner? You decide.

Thanks to Samuel Miller for flagging up this one.

Luke Alexander Loy was not one of George Osborne’s “hard-working people”. The 42-year-old had schizophrenia and was unable to work (or “do the right thing”, as David Cameron now ominously terms being employed . But Luke’s story – his life – is one worth talking about.

Luke lived with his mother in their two-bed council house in Birmingham and had built a stable rhythm: carving wood sculptures as art therapy in their front room, going for walks five times a day, and shopping for his elderly neighbours.

But when his mother died of cancer, Luke found his housing benefit cut: the bedroom tax meant that from 2013 his late mother’s bedroom was classed as “spare”. A year later, another piece of support was pulled from him: Luke had been receiving incapacity benefit for over 20 years, but after a work capability assessment (WCA) in late 2014, he was declared “fit for work”.

What came next for Luke is a now familiar spiral: pushed off sickness benefits and unable to cope with the requirements of the jobcentre, he had his jobseeker’s allowance taken away. His housing benefit and council tax support were also cut. His debts started to mount and he began to struggle to feed himself. Three months later – on 29 May 2015 – when Luke failed to respond to his family’s calls, police officers broke into his house and found him dead on his bedroom floor. An inquest returned an open verdict.

Source: Luke Loy had a life, until his benefits started falling away | Frances Ryan | Opinion | The Guardian

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18 thoughts on “Luke Loy had a life, until his benefits started falling away

  1. jeffrey davies

    But Luke’s story – his life – is one worth talking about. yet another one failed by our greedie mps ministers its worst now than the nazi aktion t4 plans has now the death toll is to hard to take for those who wont listen to the pleads of the sick disabled and those on benefits it isnt a shame but down right tradgety that we has a nation have allowed this tory cull of the stock yet our bishops are more worried about their attacks on smaller familys and food halls nowt about they killing their flock under their watch jeff3

  2. Neilth

    So an open verdict is a euphemism for murdered by the state. This government said we have to make sacrifices to help the economy recover and Mr Loy is just one of those sacrifices in a literal way. Unfortunately Social Darwinism has no conscience.

  3. Dez

    recorded an open verdict? I would have thought there was enough circumstancial evidence to put two and two together….Oh I forgot Tory leaders not good at maths.

  4. mohandeer

    Another sad and unnecessary death – to the Tories, no doubt, no great loss, such is their view of “worthless” people. The pensioner’s and his friends must miss him, he was what I like to call a community minded person. As for “doing the right thing” if I did get work and had another heart attack and the next one killed me, presumably I would have “done the right thing”. Would that be finding work that an able bodied person could have appreciated, or having the courtesy of dying?

  5. Michael Broadhurst

    its time Corbyn got tough with CaMoron and if he thinks he’s telling lies in Parliament he should call him a liar,and if he thinks his government is a murdering bunch of fascists he should say so,and to hell with parliamentary protocol,
    they wont like been called what they are.

  6. joanna

    maybe I’m looking at this wrong because I have never had any family, but why, if his family knew of his condition, did they not help him?! It seems all their shouting now is to assuage their guilt, at what They could have done! They could have taken him to appointments to prevent the worst from happening. If they were as close as they make out they could have done something!

    1. Terry Davies

      family blaming is as bad as an open verdict. the man in question was 42 yrs of age and didnt like to rely on family, his self esteem was reduced to nothing.
      surely the questions are
      was this necessary, is discretion not applicable in this case, why was it not applied in this case.
      The safety net no longer exists. this is clearly going to result in individualism culminating in terrorism and riotous behaviour on the long term.

  7. linda powell

    My condolences to Lukes family and friends. In October 2015 Emidio Dos Santos lay dead for five days in a GT Yarmouth hotel. The cause of death bronchial pneumonia and malnutrition.His benefits were stopped in August. The Norfolk coroner has declined an inquest as he says Emidio died of “natural causes” Emdio needs his life and death acknowledged,not swept under the carpet.

    1. Dez

      yet another coroner wearing tight fitting establishment blinkers. Not unexpected most will be tory types…..maybe the chief coroner did send a covert round robin around the Country, not as we requested ie watch out and record establishment failures and consequences, but for the exact opposite and ensure protection from public view of all these deaths that should be more deeply investigated to ensure the correct reason for the situation. Hopefully amongst these Coroners there will be an honest whistle blower
      with a real concious as to justice and fairness….but so far to many worried about their mortgage and private school fees.

  8. amnesiaclinic

    Very, very wrong.
    People need support. He had just lost his mother and had to cope on his own.
    Since when does having mental health problems constitute being a crime?
    I hope the family do not give up on trying to find justice for Luke.

    1. joanna

      like I said he should not have had to cope on his own, his family should have been there!! Justice is no good to Luke, he is already gone.
      I just hope his family Do Not benefit from his death, after all what did they do for him? Did they even help his mother cope, or was she alone?
      I hope Luke and his mother both have peace now!!!

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        Bear in mind that you don’t know what the family’s position has been. You may be making very harmful assumptions that don’t stand up to the facts.

      2. Jim Round

        Unfortunately families do tend to have a habit of disappearing when things get a little “tough”.
        It’s not just mental illness though, lots of younger disabled people and older people get close to abandoned by relatives, with little more than a Christmas card to show they still exist, yes there are sometimes circumstances, and it’s not just family, friends also become “fairweather”.
        It is unfortunately a reflection on society.

  9. Phil Lee

    Murdered by the state, or, more specifically, the Tory party.
    They should be closed down – they surely meet all the criteria for being regarded as a terrorist organisation – and their funds confiscated as being the proceeds of a criminal enterprise (sedition).

  10. Wayne Leon

    Time for a vote of No Confidence. They are killing their own people in their thousands now, with impunity. Time the British People, once and for all, demanded the resignation of Iain Duncan Smith and demanded his arrest for the corporate murder of his own people.

    1. chriskitcher

      My sentiments exactly. I am fed up with reading reports on how bad things are for lots of poor and vulnerable people only to be unable to find any positive mechanisms that can bring murdering creatures such as Idiot Duncan-Smith, Gideon Osborne and CaMoron to account.

      If we all feel so strongly that this is wrong and that there are many more who will meet the same fate why can we not take some positive action to call a halt to such killings?

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