DWP HQ, Caxton House, London. Photo: Paul Billanie for Welfare Weekly.

A distraught father drank himself to death following the tragic loss of his 15-month old daughter after he was forced to sacrifice a place in rehab to attend a Universal Credit meeting at his local Jobcentre, an inquest into his death heard. 

Jack Schumann, 26, had suffered with depression since the death of his daughter in 2015 and turned to alcohol as a way of coping with his loss.

Mr Schumann was drinking up to 20 cans of cider a day when he was offered a bed at a rehab centre to help ween him off his terrible addiction, reports the Manchester Evening News.

The inquest into his death was told that Jack had been offered a bed at the Drug and Alcohol Inpatient Unit at Prestwich Hospital in 2017, but was forced to refuse the offer to attend a meeting about his benefits claim.

A coroner was told that Jack made repeated attempts to resolve to his dependence on alcohol, but that his health began to deteriorate as his addiction gradually ravaged his body and mental well-being.

Jack sadly lost his battle with the booze and was found unresponsive by his twin brother on May 16, 2018.

His father Martin Schumann told the hearing: “Jack lost his daughter about three years ago and suffered from depression ever since. I think he always blamed himself.

“He always liked a drink at home, but after her death he would tend to drink a lot. He was drinking about 20 cans a day.

“Jack got a job working with me and started to lay off a bit, but in the last 18 months he started to relapse again.

“It always got worse around the time of his daughter’s birthday or anniversary of her death.

“He adored his daughter and I don’t think he ever got over her death.

“In the last few months he lost a lot of weight – probably about five stone. I last saw him on May 13 and he didn’t look like himself.

An autopsy discovered that although his liver had been extensively damaged the harm could have been reversed.

Jack’s mother, Ms Schumann, told the inquest: “Jack was offered a meeting at a local rehabilitation centre but it was just horrible. He felt very degraded even though he knew he needed help.”

She continued: “We got a call to say that he’d been offered a bed at Prestwich but on the same day he was facing eviction from his flat and had to have a meeting about Universal Credit.

“He was offered another place and he rung to tell me to get everything ready but just after they rang back again and said the bed had gone.

“We never got any explanation for it. After that there were no other attempts made to offer Jack a bed.

“In March he was doing really well and trying to cut down on the alcohol but a few weeks before his death his health started to deteriorate.”

His death was recorded as a result of “natural causes”, but Assistant Coroner for Manchester North Julie Robertson added: “It is clear that Jack used alcohol as a coping strategy.

“The disease to his liver was extensive and had accumulated over a number of years.

“I cannot speculate as to whether more available help could have prevented Jack’s death.”