Home News DWP review into the death of six-stone Stephen Smith will be held...

DWP review into the death of six-stone Stephen Smith will be held in secret

Calls for an independent inquiry have seemingly been ignored by the DWP.

Must Read

Benefit claimant with broken back killed himself after being found ‘fit for work’ by DWP

He was left pennniless and unable to pay the rent or top up his electricity meter.

UK pensioners ‘suffering the worst poverty rate in western Europe’

Tories warned against further rises to the state pension age.

Jeremy Corbyn: Tories failing homeless children and poverty-stricken families

Labour leader vows to end the benefit freeze and halt the rollout of Universal Credit.

Half of private landlords say tenants on Universal Credit have rent arrears

54% of private landlords have tenants on Universal Credit who have fallen behind on rent payments.

Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd has confirmed that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will be holding an urgent review into its practices, following the tragic death of a benefit claimant who weighed just six-stone after the DWP slashed his benefits.

64-year-old Mr Smith lost his life after a prolonged battle with the DWP, with pictures showing how the loss of vital benefits left him resembling a person in famine conditions.

Stephen Smith, shortly before his death. Photo: Public Domain/Facebook.

Mr Smith, from Liverpool, was repeatedly denied state support despite letters from his GP warning about his dramatic weight loss and the wider impact on his overall health and wellbeing.

He eventually had his benefit payments reinstated, including £4,000 in backpay, but the damage had already been done and he sadly lost his battle to survive.

His case has been held up as an extreme example of the cruelty of the current welfare system, prompting calls for an independent public inquiry and complete overhaul of the benefits system.

Now, Amber Rudd has confirmed that the DWP will be investigating the circumstances running up to Mr Smith’s death, but only after the local media pressed the Department for a formal investigation.

Ms Rudd, who has been named as a possible replacement to Theresa May as Tory Party leader, told the Liverpool Echo: “This is a grave and tragic case. I speak on behalf of the Department when I say that we are very sorry to hear of the experience Mr Smith had and that our thoughts continue to be with his friends and family.

Work and Pensions Secretary, Amber Rudd MP. Photo: Chris McAndrew [CC BY 3.0]

“You asked for an official inquiry into this matter. I can advise you that an urgent Internal Process Review has been commissioned on Mr Smith’s case, which will be complete by the end of May.”

However, the scope of the review will be limited to an internal review of the DWP’s handling of the case, meaning we may never learn the full findings from the DWP’s review or how conclusive the actual investigation turns out to be.

Ms Rudd continued: “This will be objectively reviewed against the customer journey and what should have happened – including safeguarding processes.

“This will help us to understand what happened, with recommendations for improvements and changes to be shared with the Permanent Secretary following this review.”

SUPPORT US!

If you would like to see more stories like this please consider a one off donation. Thank you for your support!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

FOLLOW US

16,639FansLike
9,361FollowersFollow

Latest News

Jeremy Corbyn: Tories failing homeless children and poverty-stricken families

Labour leader vows to end the benefit freeze and halt the rollout of Universal Credit.

Half of private landlords say tenants on Universal Credit have rent arrears

54% of private landlords have tenants on Universal Credit who have fallen behind on rent payments.

130,000 families forced to live in one bed flats due to chronic social housing shortage

Calls for a £12.8bn national investment in social housing building.

Paralympian supports disability charity at ‘Superhero Triathlon’

Participants came from across the United Kingdom.

Homeless children forced to live in shipping containers, report says

Children's Commissioner slams the "unforgiving welfare system" and high rents for trapping homeless families in temporary accommodation.

More Articles Like This