Another dead man has won a fit-for-work appeal against the Tory government. Think what it means

Jeff Hayward: He died fighting a false claim that he was fit for work – and his daughter still had to prove the point before a tribunal.

Let’s go out on a limb and point out the elephant in this particular room: The Conservative government knows perfectly well that people are dying from the stress of having to appeal against wrong benefit decisions. Ministers simply don’t care.

They know that the stress of fighting “fit for work” decisions is too much for people who are in poor health. Jeff Hayward is far from the first person to have a heart attack a few days before an ESA tribunal.

The 52-year-old father-of-two and grandfather had cellulitis (a painful bacterial skin infection) on his legs and was deemed unfit to work by his GP. He lost a job in which he had been employed for 25 years in November 2016.

But a Tory-employed “healthcare professional” – who may have known nothing at all about the condition – overruled the GP’s diagnosis, awarded him no points in his Employment and Support Allowance assessment and ruled that he was fit for work.

Mr Hayward was forced to go through five stages of applications and appeals, with help from Ribble Valley Citizens Advice.

The strain proved too much and he suffered a heart attack in June last year, which resulted in his death just two weeks before he was due to attend a disability benefit appeal tribunal.

Anyone who has seen I, Daniel Blake will be familiar with that situation (although in the film the death happened on the day of the tribunal).

Perhaps the Conservative MPs who run the system thought that Mr Hayward’s case would be quietly closed after his death, meaning they would have secured a man’s death – sorry, “positive benefit outcome” without any drawbacks to themselves.

If so, they were wrong.

Congratulations are due to daughter Holly Hayward, who took up his case after Jeff passed away.

She ensured that the case went before a tribunal, regardless of her father’s death.

Crucially, the “fit for work” decision was overturned on the basis of the same evidence on which it was originally made.

So it may be said that Mr Hayward was put through the stress of no less than 19 months in the appeal process, leading to the heart attack that killed him, for no reason at all.

No reason, that is…

Apart from the amusement of a homicidal government that considers money to be more important than human life.

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9 thoughts on “Another dead man has won a fit-for-work appeal against the Tory government. Think what it means

  1. Nick Hendley

    They spend more trying to prevent claimants receiving their just dues than it costs to pay the claimants.
    It points to a far different agenda than they say they are following

  2. Jonno R

    So why is the so called health care professional who showed no care other than for lining their wallet not being held responsible for abuse of office. This is a criminal offence and if they overturned a doctors diagnosis that is also a criminal offence. On top of that they should be struck off from whatever register they are on and fired for gross misconduct from ATOS.
    I have had cellulitis, it is agonising and is also very visible and obvious so there is no excuse for these murders and yet they continue. The police have been betrayed by this shambles of a government so I would have thought that a criminal investigation into DWP operations would have started by now. These people have killed more than any terrorist organisation and should be treated as such.

  3. Jeffrey Davies

    Ever since unum played their part in all this we have a government who dam well now they culling the stock through benefits denial yet on it goes aktion t4 rolling along without much of a ado

  4. groovmistress

    The fact that this man had been working in the same job for 25 years prior to his debilitating condition tells us a lot. It lays bare the idiocy and inflexibilityof the system. One which is based on the assumption that every claimant is a shirker who could work, and find work, if they really wanted to. It just makes me so angry

  5. Nick

    My German friends have always told me that their parents were unaware of what hitler was up to during the second wold war in the killing of the Jews and the sick and disabled.
    no one had a clue until after the war ended. just goes to show that 70 years on the sick and disabled have to watch their backs at all times and if they live alone with no one to step in they end up dead

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