The following article is set to appear as an update to the latest petition on Change.org by This Writer, Maggie Zolobajluk and Gill Thompson, for the government to implement the recommendations put to it, ensuring that no benefit claimants are left unable to support themselves due to withdrawal of payments, and that a broad, independent review of the system should be enacted.
In support of the petition, Maggie has written the following:
The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) published guidance to job centre officials who decide whether claimants should have their payments stopped.
The guidance says: “It would be usual for a normal healthy adult to suffer some deterioration in their health if they were without:
1. essential items such as food, clothing, heating and accommodation, or
2. sufficient money to buy essential items for a period of two weeks.
“The Decision Maker must decide if the health of the person with the medical condition would decline more than a normal healthy adult.”
As if it wouldn’t!
I have compiled a list of the deceased using the information here, here, here and here.
I fully agree with the assertion of Welfare Tales that these are the deaths that we know of because a friend, relative or the coroner has commented. Sadly, there are probably many more.
Many of our supporters have left distressing replies about their experiences on our petition.
If you feel able to share your experience please post them as comments; if you wish to remain anonymous please put a note on your comment and you will be anonymised.
Please let us know if:
- You have had a JSA or ESA sanction, or
- You have received a JSA sanction and/or you have been left without funds while awaiting a Mandatory Reconsideration decision.
Please also let us know why and how long you have been without funds and the effect on your health.
If you are feeling suicidal, please speak to your doctor and/or someone close to you. Or contact the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90.
The list Maggie compiled follows.
On a personal note, This Writer recalls recent attempts to claim that the vast majority of deaths were likely to happen anyway, due to the fact that (among other elements) the vast majority of the dead were aged over 50. Among the 72 people named on this list, 33 of those whose ages are known were younger than 50 when they died – nearly half the total.
Conor Cribbin, 25 years old. The student suffered from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and his medical card was stopped in the period leading up to his suicide. He had also learned just days prior that he had failed to secure a college grant. According to his father, Conor was in low spirits in the days beforehand. He added: “He couldn’t get his medication for his ADHD.”
Mark Cotton, 54 years old. Lost both his legs due to a medical condition. Died in an apparent suicide fewer than 48 hours after being told an allowance to pay his carer was being cut from nine hours a week to only three.
Terry McGarvey, 48 years old. Dangerously ill from polycytheamia, Terry asked for an ambulance to be called during his Work Capability Assessment. He knew that he wasn’t well enough to attend his WCA but feared that his benefits would be stopped if he did not.
He died the following day.
Elaine Lowe, 53 years old. Suffering from COPD and fearful of losing her benefits. In desperation, Elaine chose to commit suicide.
Mark Wood, 44 years old. Found fit for work by Atos, against his Doctors advice and assertions that he had complex mental health problems. Starved to death after benefits stopped, weighing only 5st 8lb when he died.
Paul Reekie, 48 years old, the Leith based Poet and Author. Suffered from severe depression. Committed suicide after DWP stopped his benefits due to an Atos ‘fit for work’ decision.
Leanne Chambers, 30 years old. Suffered depression for many years which took a turn for the worst when she was called in for a WCA. Leanne committed suicide soon after.
Karen Sherlock, 44 years old. Multiple health issues. Found fit for work by Atos and denied benefits. Fought a long battle to get placed into the support group of ESA. Karen died the following month of a heart attack.
Carl Payne, 42 years old. Fears of losing his lifeline benefits due to welfare reform led this Father of two to take his own life.
Tim Salter, 53 years old. Blind and suffering from Agoraphobia. Tim hanged himself after Atos found him fit for work and stopped his benefits.
Edward Jacques, 47 years old. years old and suffering from HIV and Hepatitis C. Edward had a history of severe depression and self-harm. He took a fatal overdose after Atos found him fit for work and stopped his benefits.
Linda Wootton, 49 years old. years old. A double heart and lung transplant patient. Died just nine days after the government found her fit for work, their refusal letter arriving as she lay desperately ill in her hospital bed.
Steven Cawthra, 55 years old. His benefits stopped by the DWP and with rising debts, he saw suicide as the only way out of a desperate situation
Elenore Tatton, 39 years old. Died just weeks after the government found her fit for work.
John Walker, 57 years old. saddled with debt because of the bedroom tax, John took his own life.
Brian McArdle, 57 years old. Suffered a fatal heart attack the day after his disability benefits were stopped.
Stephen Hill, 53 years old. Died of a heart attack one month after being found fit for work, even though he was waiting for major heart surgery.
Jacqueline Harris, 53 years old. A former Nurse who could hardly walk was found fit for work by Atos and her benefits withdrawn. in desperation, she took her own life.
David Barr, 28 years old. Suffering from severe mental difficulties. Threw himself from a bridge after being found fit for work by Atos and failing his appeal.
David Groves, 56 years old. Died of a heart attack the night before taking his work capability assessment. His widow claimed that it was the stress that killed him.
Nicholas Peter Barker, 51 years old. Shot himself after being told his benefits were being stopped. He was unable to work after a brain haemorrhage left him paralysed down one side.
Mark and Helen Mullins, 48 and 59 years old. Forced to live on £57.50 a week and make 12 mile trips each week to get free vegetables to make soup. Mark and Helen both committed suicide.
Richard Sanderson, 44 years old. Unable to find a job and with his housing benefit cut forcing him to move, but with nowhere to go. Richard committed suicide.
Martin Rust, 36 years old. A schizophrenic man who killed himself two months after the government found him fit to work.
Craig Monk, 43 years old. A vulnerable gentleman and a partial amputee who slipped so far into poverty that he hanged himself.
Colin Traynor, 29 years old and suffering from epilepsy was stripped of his benefits. He appealed. Five weeks after his death his family found he had won his appeal.
Elaine Christian, 57 years old. Worried about her work capability assessment, she was subsequently found at Holderness drain, drowned and with ten self inflicted wrist wounds.
Christelle Pardoe, 32 years old and Kayjah Pardoe 5 month old. Pregnant, her benefits stopped, Christelle, clutching her baby son jumped from a third floor balcony.
Mark Scott, 46 years old. His DLA and housing benefit stopped and sinking into deep depression, Mark died six weeks later.
Cecilia Burns, 51 years old. Found fit for work while undergoing treatment for breast cancer. She died just a few weeks after she won her appeal against the Atos decision.
Chris Cann, 57 years old. Found dead in his home just months after being told he had to undergo a medical assessment to prove he could not work.
Peter Hodgson, 49 years old. Called to JCP to see if he was suitable for volunteer work. Peter had suffered a stroke, a brain haemorrhage and had a fused leg. His appointment letter arrived a few days after he took his own life.
Paul Willcoxson, 33 years old. Suffered with mental health problems and worried about government cuts. Paul committed suicide by hanging himself.
Stephanie Bottrill, 53 years old. After paying £80 a month for bedroom tax, Stephanie could not afford heating in the winter, and lived on tinned custard. In desperation, she chose to walk in front of a lorry.
Larry Newman suffered from a degenerative lung condition, his weight dropping from 10 to 7 stone. Atos awarded him zero points, he died just three months after submitting his appeal.
Paul Turner, 52 years old. After suffering a heart attack, he was ordered to find a job in February. In April Paul died from ischaemic heart disease.
Christopher Charles Harkness, 39. After finding out that the funding for his care home was being withdrawn, this man who suffered with mental health issues, took his own life.
Sandra Louise Moon, 57 years old. Suffering from a degenerative back condition, depression and increasingly worried about losing her incapacity benefit. Sandra committed suicide by taking an overdose.
Lee Robinson, 39 years old. Took his own life after his housing benefit and council tax were taken away from him.
David Coupe, 57 years old. A Cancer sufferer found fit for work by Atos in 2012. David lost his sight, then his hearing, then his mobility, and then his life.
Michael McNicholas, 34 years old. Severely depressed and a recovering alcoholic. Michael committed suicide after being called in for a Work Capability Assessment by Atos.
Victor Cuff, 59 years old and suffering from severe depression. Victor hanged himself after the DWP stopped his benefits.
Charles Barden, 74 years old. Charles committed suicide by hanging due to fears that the Bedroom Tax would leave him destitute and unable to cope.
Ian Caress, 43 years old. Suffered multiple health issues and deteriorating eyesight. Ian was found fit for work by Atos, he died ten months later having lost so much weight that his family said that he resembled a concentration camp victim.
Iain Hodge, 30 years old. Suffered from the life threatening illness, Hughes Syndrome. Found fit for work by Atos and benefits stopped, Iain took his own life.
Wayne Grew, 37 years old. Severely depressed due to government cuts and the fear of losing his job, Wayne committed suicide by hanging.
Kevin Bennett, 40 years old. Kevin a sufferer of schizophrenia and mental illness became so depressed after his JSA was stopped that he became a virtual recluse. Kevin was found dead in his flat several months later.
David Elwyn Hughs Harries, 48 years old. A disabled man who could no longer cope after his parents died, could find no help from the government via benefits. David took an overdose as a way out of his solitude.
Denis Jones, 58 years old. A disabled man crushed by the pressures of government cuts, in particular the Bedroom Tax, and unable to survive by himself. Denis was found dead in his flat.
Shaun Pilkington, 58 years old. Unable to cope any more, Shaun shot himself dead after receiving a letter from the DWP informing him that his ESA was being stopped.
Paul ?, 51 years old .Died in a freezing cold flat after his ESA was stopped. Paul appealed the decision and won on the day that he lost his battle to live.
Chris MaGuire, 61 years old. Deeply depressed and incapable of work, Chris was summonsed by Atos for a Work Capability Assessment and deemed fit for work. On appeal, a judge overturned the Atos decision and ordered them to leave him alone for at least a year, which they did not do. In desperation, Chris took his own life, unable to cope anymore.
Peter Duut, a Dutch national with terminal cancer living in the UK for many years found that he was not entitled to benefits unless he was active in the labour market. Peter died leaving his wife destitute, and unable to pay for his funeral.
George Scollen, age unknown. Took his own life after the government closed the Remploy factory he had worked in for 40 years.
Julian Little, 47 years old. Wheelchair bound and suffering from kidney failure, Julian faced the harsh restrictions of the Bedroom Tax and the loss of his essential dialysis room. He died shortly after being ordered to downgrade.
Miss DE, Early 50’s. Suffering from mental illness, this lady committed suicide less than a month after an Atos assessor gave her zero points and declared her fit for work.
Robert Barlow, 47 years old. Suffering from a brain tumour, a heart defect and awaiting a transplant, Robert was deemed fit for work by Atos and his benefits were withdrawn. He died penniless less than two years later.
Carl Joseph Foster-Brown, 58 years old. As a direct consequence of the wholly unjustifiable actions of the Job centre and DWP, this man took his own life.
Martin Hadfield, 20 years old. Disillusioned with the lack of jobs available in this country but too proud to claim benefits. Utterly demoralised, Martin took his own life by hanging himself.
Annette Francis, 30 years old. A mum-of-one suffering from severe mental illness, found dead after her disability benefits were ceased.
Ian Jordan, 60 years old. His benefits slashed after Atos and the DWP declared Ian, a sufferer of Barratt’s Oesophagus, fit for work, caused him to run up massive debts in order to survive. Ian was found dead in his flat after taking an overdose.
Janet McCall, 53 years old. Terminally ill with pulmonary fibrosis and declared ‘Fit for Work’ by Atos and the DWP, this lady died 5 months after her benefits were stopped.
Stuart Holley, 23 years old. A man driven to suicide by the DWP’s incessant pressure and threat of sanctions for not being able to find a job.
Graham Shawcross, 63 years old. A sufferer of the debilitating disease, Addison’s. Died of a heart attack due to the stress of an Atos ‘Fit for Work’ decision.
David Clapson, 59 years old. A diabetic ex-soldier deprived of the means to survive by the DWP and the governments harsh welfare reforms, David died all but penniless, starving and alone, his electricity run out.
Chris Smith 59 years old.While he lay in a hospital bed, dying of cancer. The Jobcentre bombarded him with texts telling him he had to apply for jobs, and letters urging him to come to ‘job workshops.’
Nathan Hartwell, 36 years old, died of heart failure after an 18-month battle with the Department for Works and Pensions.
Michael Connolly, 60 years old. A Father of One, increasingly worried about finances after his benefits were cut. Committed suicide by taking 13 times the fatal dose of prescription medicine on the 30th October – His Birthday.
Jan Mandeville, 52 years old, A lady suffering from Fibromyalgia, driven to the point of mental and physical breakdown by this governments welfare reforms. Jan was found dead in her home after battling the DWP for ESA and DLA.
Trevor Drakard, 50 years old. A shy and reserved, severe epileptic who suffered regular and terrifying fits almost his entire life, hounded to suicide by the DWP who threatened to stop his life-line benefits.
Unnamed, death of a severely disabled Dorset resident, who took her own life while battling the bedroom tax.
Aaron Lane, 31 years old. A talented musician battling mental health problems took his own life after he was ruled fit to work.
Glen Harris, 55 years old. Killed himself with an electric saw because he feared his benefits would be changed after being found fit for work.
Peter Kelleher, 44 years old. Found in his flat with a ligature around his neck and in a state of decomposition after the pressure of mounting debt and no benefit at all became too much to bear.
Malcolm Burge, 66 years old. A retired gardener who killed himself after being hounded for £800 after changes to his benefits left him unable to cope.
Julia Kelly, 39 years old. Suffering with chronic back pain and hounded constantly by the DWP, Julia commited suicide after receiving a letter demanding that she pay back over £4000.
Benjamin Del McDonald, 34 years old. A doting Father of three children suffering from depression due to removal of his lifeline benefits, Benjamin committed suicide by hanging.
Mark William Jacka, 26 years old. Stressed to the point of suicide, Mark was found hanged at his home the day after a visit to his local Job Centre to apply for JSA.
David O’Mar, 58 years old. Suffering from Pneumonia in a hospital bed. Found ‘Fit for Work’ by the DWP only to die two weeks later.
Moira Drury, 61 years old. Suffering from limited mobility, mini-strokes, epilepsy and depression. Her daughter believes that a seven-month delay in processing her benefit claim hastened her death.
Gordon Lang, 62 years old, A marine veteran who died from cancer while battling the state over benefits.
Nick Barker, a former sheep farmer, had a brain haemorrhage which left him struggling to walk. The father of two shot himself after the DWP claimed he was fit to work. Recording a suicide verdict, coroner Michael Oakley said the benefits assessment was key to the tragedy.
Found Fit for work
David Waite, 60 years old, suffers from a string of health problems including brain, damage neck pain, diabetes and depression.
The Peoples review of the WCA published this report. There is a long depressing list of other people whose health has deteriorated after being “found fit for work”.
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