In response to a freedom of information request about the number of employment and allowance (ESA) claimants who died in 2011, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) revealed to the Mirror that between January and August 2011 8,000 claims for ESA ended and a date of death for these claims was recorded within six weeks of the claim ending.

A total of 1,100 claimants died in the work-related activity group (WRAG) and 1,600 claimants died within the assessment phase of ESA. The DWP was unable to provide figures for claimants who died following a decision finding them fit for work, nor for claimants who died during the appeals process.
A spokesperson for the DWP said “​It is possible that the claimant had already closed their claim and then subsequently died, meaning that these figures may be overestimating the true picture.”​

Katie Lane, head of welfare policy at Citizens Advice however told the Mirror that Citizens Advice has found “​a number of cases”​ of people dying soon after being found fit for work, and that “​There seems to be a clear link between the cause of death and the condition they were suffering from that led to the claim.”​

The full report by the Mirror can be found here.


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