New DWP statistics: more than 80 people are dying each month shortly after being declared ‘fit for work’

Iain Duncan Smith has serious questions to answer


The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has just published figures showing that between 2011 and 2014, 2,380 people died shortly after being declared ‘fit for work’.

Published in response to Freedom of Information requests, the statistics show that more than 50 people are dying each month just after a Work Capability Assessment (WCA) has declared them fit for work.

These deaths relate to just two benefits, Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and Incapacity Benefit/Severe Disablement Allowance (IB/SDA), both paid to people too ill or disabled to work.

Between December 2011 and February 2014:

270 former IB/SDA claimants died shortly (scans are conducted fortnightly for ESA and six-weekly for IB/SDA) after being declared fit for work and having their benefits withdrawn.

1,340 ESA claimants who had recently completed appeals against the fit for work assessment died.

The DWP document states that ‘the mortality rate [for people of working age out of work] has remained around three times higher than for the general population. There are a higher proportion of people who are sick or disabled amongst those on benefits than in the general population.’

The fact that the DWP feels this needs to be said at all speaks volumes about the way it treats sick and disabled people – with suspicion and lack of compassion.

These figures are truly alarming for disabled people, especially as they come just days after Iain Duncan Smith announced an overhaul of the WCA system which would force many sick and disabled people to work. An investigation is also currently underway into the deaths of people who have recently had their benefits sanctioned.

Ruby Stockham is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward

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35 Responses to “New DWP statistics: more than 80 people are dying each month shortly after being declared ‘fit for work’”

  1. Sean Garrity

    I agree that Smith has a lot of questions to answer and I think he should answer them in front of a judge.

  2. Linda Cox

    Off to The Hague with him. Soulless piece of cr*p.

  3. JoeDM

    Dying from fags & booze & lazing about infront of day-time TV. All paid for by State benefits

  4. Leda

    I hope you die of cancer, you inbred Tory cunt.

  5. madasafish

    Very un PC.
    Typical of Lefties.

  6. Nick

    It reads like something out from the Nazis genocide in which
    Hitler had killed many Jews and sick and disabled

    The figures would need a very superior brain for the public to understand on what these figures mean as a judge once said understanding anything from the DWP were a mind field

    My own personal dealing with the DWP of many years would indeed bear that out and i have yet to understand WHAT they say on any level as it to me has always sounded like complete garbage and lies
    especially the thank you for your letters of change ? What change what letters? In addition, after
    35 years i still get the letters

    My conclusion is that they WRITE to you to stress you so you kill yourself and in a nutshell of my 35 years in dealing with them and the police that’s about it as to just speak to them or your legal representative you will just go round in a never ending loop and for those that do get sucked
    in to the madness it invariably causes the death of many

    As for these figures i am sure that the number are still too low as it does not take into
    account local suicide deaths from around the country where the police highlight
    with regards the death as (no suspicious circumstances found ) whatever that
    means ?

    My life and that of my family has been seriously blighted by
    the DWP over the past 35 years the past 6 years very much so and at 8 stone
    have the body to prove it but live in hope that criminal proceedings will at
    some point take place against the government so that I can attend to give my own personal account of the DWP

  7. Samuel Miller

    The Work and Pensions Committee has recommended a full independent review of benefit sanctions and is waiting for the DWP to respond to its report on benefit sanctions policy. The author is incorrect in stating
    that “an investigation is also currently underway into the deaths of people who have recently had their benefits sanctioned.”

    Full disclosure: Since January 2012, I have been reporting voluntarily to the UN’s human rights office, in Geneva, on the welfare crisis for Britain’s sick and disabled. [Fellow Canadian Leilani Farha (@leilanifarha) is the UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing; see You can tweet her on UK housing issues or e-mail her at the UN’s human
    rights office: [email protected]; she does follow my Twitter account.]

    (Montreal, Canada)

  8. remarx

    You sir are a bigot, a stupid, uninformed opinionated twat. Sounds like you believe your own propaganda which makes you all the more morally incapacitated. Or perhaps you are playing devil’s advocate? Bigot or twat? Either way impaling is too good for you and your ilk.

  9. Syzergy_Point

    Do you mean the members of the House of Lords?

  10. Chris Kitcher

    Surely if Camoron has any decency he will move this murdering basta*d well away from any position that needs care and compassion towrads the most vulnerable in our society.

  11. Chris Kitcher

    Do you have any compassion as your post appears to be from a mindless twat who just thinks of themselves and no one else. You make me ashamed to be British.

  12. Chris Kitcher

    My last post was directed to JoeDM but the sysytem did not show this.

  13. Henry Page

    Nicely put, coming from the #NastyParty

  14. Henry Page

    Oh no! Sending him to William Hague is a cruel and unusual punishment …

  15. Paul McGlynn

    Both JoeDM and you are typical of the snivelling, uninformed right. Blindly accepting every lie feed to you. The real world and truth are passing you by or you are unwilling to accept it. Not only does Duncan-Smith and this tyrannical regime have blood on their hands, but so do the like of you and everyone else who voted Tory at the last two elections. I only hope for you that you never are in the situation that you require assistance due to illness or employment situation.

  16. remarx

    Perhaps the comment was a bit harsh, so how about ‘ I hope your death is a slow, agonising one you sociopathic Hurray Henry reminiscent woman’s reproductive anatomy. Means approximately the same. Not bad for a ‘Leftie’ eh?

  17. madasafish

    I take uninformed rudeness from people like you as a badge of honour.

  18. madasafish

    Far too many words. Typical verbosity of a Leftie.
    No wonder you lose elections..

  19. madasafish

    Thank you.

  20. Nick

    keep up the good work my friend this saga will run on for years with many more deaths that’s for sure


    Paul. It was Labour who started the ball rolling under Brown although his intention was to get people out of the institutional rut where they never worked or dreamt of working. However that is different from attacking the sick and mentally disabled. Duncan Shmitt seems to really enjoy his job.

  22. remarx

    It is my considered belief as an historian that this government does want the sick, lame and disabled to – let’s say – perish. They are seen as ‘a burden’ on the state and as such need purging. It seems the DWP is the means of applying this ‘solution’.

    The latest utterance from this government through the mouth of the disgusting IDS says that even though you are so mentally or physically impaired that employment in a pressurised, un-compassionate and low paid workforce will probably make you suicidal, that ‘work will be good for you’.

    The German’s ( yes I do know about Godwin’s Law) for their solution made camps for their undesirables. One such camp, to this day, has a slogan over the entrance announcing “Arbeit Macht Frei” which translates to “Work will set you free”. This is not an hysterical comparison but a frighteningly historical one.

    Of course these camps are the past remnants of an evil elitist regime that will not be allowed to happen again. But has there not been mentioned in the recent press by our present elitist government that ‘ the unemployed should be sent to Boot Camp ‘?

    Perhaps I am being paranoid about this government but the comparisons that have been made – and more that haven’t – are there for all who study.

    The leadership of our present elitist government really need to stop and think what they are doing before it is too late.

  23. blarg1987

    No doubt you have done a stringent fact based investigation whereby you knew each of the deceased beforehand and monitored all their habits?

  24. madasafish

    Nice collection of hyperboles there.

  25. remarx

    Yes you’re right of course, but I did intend it to be an exercise in wordiness. However, after comparison of text, the venacular (no need to repeat) does make the point better.

  26. Nick

    Personally i think it’s too late for the likes of myself and that the sick and disabled will be wiped out over the next 5 years with only those with their own financial support managing to somehow stay alive

    the horrors of seeing their sick and disabled friends perish however they too could succumbed and go down with mental health issues and then die

    I think IDS thou could wipe out all sick and disabled if he put his mind to doing so it would be up to the press to stop him and with a right wing press as the majority IDS could indeed get away with it.

  27. Keith M

    You need to get real.

  28. Keith M

    Agree with you there.

  29. RB2

    No. Making it harder to get benefits is not remotely equivalent to actually directly killing disabled people. This is a stupid and distasteful parallel which detracts from valid criticism of government policy.

  30. Nick

    I’m afraid a death is death with grieving relatives irrespective of how a death took place. on your logic IDS could wipe out thousands of more lives unimpeded as he himself killed no one

    My take is if you take others lives while in government through error/negligence or by whatever means then like in any other profession that you be held accountable in law and have to explain to a judge on why that person died and what led up to that persons death

    my wife works in a end of life care home and has to account for all of her actions in writing on everyone that is on her watch every hour of the day including what they eat and how much etc and that in my mind is the correct procedure

  31. David Davies

    A more accurate description would be `died’.

    I am dying of cancer, in the Support Group, but not quite ready to put on my wooden overcoat.

  32. David Davies

    Can someone please understand the distinction between `are dying’

    and DEAD!

  33. UnionJihack

    Good old IDS back on top form I see

  34. Leda

    If you remove someone’s sole source of income in the full knowledge that they cannot possibly support themselves, and they die as a result, how are you NOT directly responsible for their death? Shit for brains.

  35. RB2

    Have you actually read anything about Nazi policies in
    respect of disabled people as these developed through the 30s and the war years? The following is a very succinct description: tm

    See these paragraphs in particular:

    ‘Code named “Aktion T 4,” the Nazi euthanasia program to eliminate “life unworthy of life” at first focused on newborns and very young children.Midwives and doctors were required to register children up to age three who showed symptoms of mental retardation, physical deformity, or other symptoms included on a questionnaire from the Reich Health Ministry.

    A decision on whether to allow the child to live was then made by three medical experts solely on the basis of the questionnaire, without any examination and without reading any medical records.

    Each expert placed a + mark in red pencil or – mark in blue pencil under the term “treatment” on a special form. A red plus mark meant a decision to kill the child. A blue minus sign meant a decision against killing. Three plus symbols resulted in a euthanasia warrant being issued and the transfer of the child to a ‘Children’s Specialty Department’ for death by injection or gradual starvation.’

    Subsequently these policies were extended to apply to adults

    If you seriously think that this is a good historical parallel for the current UK government’s policies in respect of welfare and benefits payments then it you whose brains are, er, faecal.

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