The release of the employment and support allowance (ESA) death statistics yesterday revealed that 2,380 ESA claimants died within six weeks of being found fit for work between December 2011 and February 2014. The DWP have denied that any link can be made between the decisions and the death of claimants, whist Jeremy Corbyn has called for Iain Duncan Smith to resign.{jcomments on}

Figures released by the DWP show that 2,380 ESA claimants died within six weeks of being found capable of work.

The figures also show that 1,340 died after completing an appeal against a decision that they were fit for work.

A further 270 IB/SDA claimants died after being found capable of work and 20 more IB/SDA claimants died after an appeal.

Assuming there is no overlap between these figures, the total number who died after being found fit for work is 4,010

According to the DWP:

"The mortality rate for people who have died while claiming an out-of-work benefit has fallen over a 10-year period. This is in line with the mortality rate for the general working-age population.

"The government continues to support millions of people on benefits with an £80bn working-age welfare safety net in place."

However, Labour party leadership front-runner Jeremy Corbyn has called on IDS to resign:

“He should never have been appointed. Yes, he should resign because these figures are so frightening and so disgusting,” he told a hustings event hosted by the Daily Mirror newspaper.

“I’ve had people with mental health difficulties as well as physical difficulties who are absolutely in despair because they’ve been declared fit for work and are absolutely not.”

Benefits and Work is currently studying the figures the DWP has released and hopes to provide more information about the disturbing trends behind them next week.

We also plan to make further freedom of information requests with the aim of shedding more light on these disturbing statistics.

The full figures can be downloaded from these links:

Mortality statistics: ESA, IB and SDA claimants

Mortality statistics: out-of-work benefit claimants, March 2003 to February 2014


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