Vigil for dead ‘fit for work’ Briton

This video from Britain says about itself:

23 January 2017

Sick man ruled ‘fit to work‘ at Jobcentre collapses and dies in street minutes later

Lawrence Bond was at the Jobcentre to look for jobs after his Employment and Support Allowance was stopped last July based on an assessment prescribed by the government.

A man collapsed and died of a heart attack on his way home from a Jobcentre minutes after being ruled ‘fit to work’ by officials.

Lawrence Bond was there to look for jobs after his Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) was stopped last July.

The 56-year-old was given the all-clear to work despite his health problems by private firm Maximus.

He was told to look for work while getting the minimum £73.10 in Jobseeker’s Allowance.

But as he went to get on a bus following signing on, Mr Bond collapsed on the street and died despite the best efforts of paramedics to save him earlier this month.

The tragedy bears a striking similarity to Ken Loach‘s movie I, Daniel Blake – which won the Palme d’Or at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.

It focuses on 59-year-old joiner Daniel Blake, who had his benefits stopped and ends up dying of a heart attack just before his ESA appeal hearing.

Speaking last week, Mr Bond’s sister Iris Green said it was “obvious” that Mr Bond needed ESA as he was overweight and struggled with his mobility.

He also suffered from shortness of breath and had an underlying heart condition.

She said her brother had appealed against his benefits being stopped, but that he was turned down and ordered to sign on if he wanted to keep Jobseeker’s Allowance.

She told the Camden New Journal newspaper last week that her brother would have been “obviously distressed” when he went to sign on – and that staff should have picked up on his frustrations.

Mrs Green said: “I realise that the reception staff have no clinical knowledge or responsibility for doing it, but the rules need to be changed so that they have the right and discretion when they see a human being turning up in physical distress to flag the situation up and ask for urgent re-assessment.”

She added: “He lost his last long-term job two years ago and by then his weight and unfitness made him unemployable.”

A spokeswoman for the London Ambulance Service said: “We were called at 4.57pm on Thursday, 12 January, to reports of an incident at Highgate Road.

“We sent an ambulance crew, three single responders in cars and an advanced paramedic to the scene.

“The first of our medics arrived at the scene in under seven minutes.

“Sadly, despite the best efforts of our crews, a patient died at the scene.”

By Clair Glasman and Felicity Collier in London, England:

Vigil held for man who died after he was ruled fit for work

Friday 27th January 2017

A VIGIL has been held for a man who suffered a fatal heart attack minutes after being found “fit for work” by jobcentre staff.

Lawrence Bond reportedly collapsed outside Kentish Town jobcentre on January 12. He had suffered from long-term health problems including difficulty with mobility and breathing.

The vigil, held outside the jobcentre on Wednesday, was organised by Kilburn Unemployed Workers’ Group and women’s disability campaign group WinVisible.

People from the local community paid their respects to Mr Bond who they said was known and loved locally. They also paid tribute to his bereaved family and friends.

Iris Green, Mr Bond’s sister, described how he had got no help during his ill health.

The doctor ordered him not to work but she said this was ignored for the work capability assessment.

Ms Green was joined by her brother’s friends, as well as by The All African Women’s Group and other bereaved relatives who have lost loved ones in similar circumstances.

Campaigner Selma James said: “The death of Mr Bond and others like him are not ‘failings’ or ‘mistakes’ but deliberate policies whose deadly outcomes have been carefully assessed.

“We must stay together and defend each other as we are doing today to defeat this murderous government.”

The crowd displayed banners and placards, and vented their fury at the inhumane policies.

One banner listed the names of about 90 people who died after they were denied welfare benefits. Each name was read to honour the lives lost.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell, who has worked with disability rights groups against the work capability assessment since 2006, said a future Labour government would axe the cruel assessments.

Shadow work and pensions minister Debbie Abrahams and film director Ken Loach also attended the vigil.

Stephen Smith, 64, died in an emaciated state on April 15. The last years of his life were marred by serious ill health, made worse by the punitive actions of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) who denied him Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and declared him “fit for work”: here.

7 thoughts on “Vigil for dead ‘fit for work’ Briton

  1. Pingback: British ‘fit to work’ people dying | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Filmmaker Ken Loach against British government | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: I, Daniel Blake film inspires action | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: British Liberal Democrat leader, against LGBTQ and women’s rights, resigns | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Tuesday, 23 April 2019

    Patient DWP deemed ‘fit-for-work’ has died

    STEPHEN Smith, an extremely ill 64-year-old man, who the government’s Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) had declared ‘fit-for-work’ has sadly died.

    Smith was left starving and unable to stand, but was still deemed ‘fit to find work’ and his benefits slashed. He was left with just £67 a week Jobseeker’s Allowance to live off after he failed a DWP work capability assessment in 2017.

    His most debilitating illness was Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, an incurable respiratory problem. Shocking images showed the elderly Liverpool man reduced to just skin and bones, admitted to hospital after he caught pneumonia soon after he was deemed ‘fit and capable of finding work’.

    He was forced to leave hospital to fight the DWP decision and won his appeal after a tribunal judge saw he could barely walk down the street let alone hold down a job. After finally agreeing to reinstate his benefit, the DWP confirmed he would also receive back payments for the money he was wrongly denied. However, Smith died on Monday, after struggling with a number of severe health problems.

    Meanwhile, blind and deaf people forced onto Universal Credit are being told by the DWP that if they do not have access to the internet they should fill their application out in a library.

    This poses a serious security risk as personal financial information will be shared in a public space. SNP MP Kevin Stewart said: ‘I think many people will be absolutely stunned to learn that the DWP may be advising people with hearing difficulties to book sign language interpreters over the phone, that blind people are being recommended to use public libraries to input personal financial information – but this is the kind of monstrous indignity I have come to expect from the Tories.

    ‘It is unacceptable that the DWP is treating their responsibility to deliver support with such blatant contempt.’


  6. Pingback: ‘Fit for work’ Welshman dies at jobcentre | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  7. Pingback: New British Conservative attack on disabled people | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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