| Diabetic man blames DWP benefit sanctions for leg amputation|
17:55, 7 Sep 2016 Updated By Todd Fitzgerald
David Boyce, from Weaste, was hit with benefit sanctions but has now won an appeal and wants compensation
A diabetic had to have his leg amputated when his condition spiralled out of control because he couldn’t afford to eat healthily when his benefits were halted for FIVE months.
David Boyce’s tragic case was revealed as protesters gathered to demonstrate against ‘immoral’ Jobcentre rules and welfare sanctions.
Campaigners helped the 54-year-old win an appeal against the sanctions, which saw him without cash for five months.
But by July, his complications from his type two diabetes had already caused irreversible damage.
David, who lives in Weaste, said he couldn’t control his insulin intake and was unable to follow his strict diabetic diet because he had no money.
After he suffered diabetic ulcers and was diagnosed with the flesh-eating disease, necrotizing fasciitis, doctors were forced to amputate one of his legs.
David, a former photographer who used to own a business, but was forced to quit because of ill-health.
He says he got into a dispute with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) about his jobseeker’s agreement and was sanctioned numerous times.
David said his benefits were frozen fourteen times because of issues with paperwork.
In all, he says he went five months without payments.
The cash was eventually handed to David after he won on appeal, aided by Salford’s Unemployed and Community Resource Centre, with every sanction overturned.
But campaigners say that isn’t enough and are seeking compensation for David’s amputation, which could ‘run into the millions’.
David said: “My health deteriorated, my foot swelled up and I got ulcers.
“In July, I went into hospital. Somewhere along the line, I contracted necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating bug, through the foot ulcer caused by my inability to sustain my diabetic diet.
“I suffered from depression and mental anxiety. I’m not a rich man. I had to sell everything to eat.
“You don’t tell anyone, it’s embarrassing, that’s what they prey on.
“You go into a depression. You lock yourself away.”
Campaigners gathered at Eccles Job Centre to protest against ‘immoral’ benefits sanctions this week, claiming scores of people were being left depressed and on the verge of suicide.
Salford Unemployed and Community Resource Centre manager Alec McFadden said the DWP had imposed ‘unachievable’ requirements for those in receipt of benefits.
Last year, the organisation helped clients recover more than £500,000.
Mr McFadden added: “Illegal benefit sanctions need to be stopped and we will continue to use the law against these dangerous and illegal actions that bringing stress and the threat of suicide to so many people.”
A DWP spokesman said: “Sanctions are an important part of our benefits system and it is right that there is a system in place for tackling those few who do not fulfil their commitment to find work.
“They are only used in a very small percentage of cases, and the number of sanctions has fallen substantially in the last year.”
Petition update - [see below the tragic story of David Clapson, R.I.P. who sadly died after being "sanctioned" by the D.W.P..ed]
U.N. PUBLISHES DAMNING REPORT ON UK BENEFIT SANCTIONS
The UN having investigated the UK on the effects of the welfare reforms and human rights, have now published their findings.
The report states :
The UN are “seriously concerned” by the state of inequality in the UK.
It highlighted the problems with welfare reforms and benefit cuts and the impact it is having on the vulnerable in our society.
The report also expressed concerns over Sanctions, unemployment, zero hours, the national minimum wage, homelessness, use of food banks, and discrimination. For detail please see the attached links below
Thank you again for your support and helping ensure true change is possible.
Please feel free to contact me direct at: firstname.lastname@example.org
"Former DWP ministers could face police investigation over fit-to-work tests" + BOURNEMOUTH SURGERY FAILING PATIENTS + WAGING WAR ON THE SICK AND DISABLED + more
David had his £71.70 weekly allowance stopped meaning that he couldn’t afford food or electricity. He was penniless, starving and alone. His electricity card was out of credit meaning the fridge where he should have kept his diabetes insulin chilled was not working. Three weeks after his benefits were stopped he died from diabetic ketoacidosis – caused by not taking his insulin.
David wasn’t a “scrounger”. He had worked for 29 years; 5 years in the Army – including two years in Northern Ireland in the 1970s, during the height of the troubles – 16 years with British Telecom, eight years with various other companies, and in recent years was a carer for our sick mother. When mum went into a home, David turned to the state for help, receiving benefits while he looked for work and taking unpaid work placements.
When he died he had just £3.44 to his name, six tea bags, a tin of soup and an out-of-date can of sardines. A coroner also found he had no food in his stomach.
People turn to the state when they are in need - that is what the system is for - a safety net for hard working people like my brother when they need a bit of support. That £71.70 a week was his lifeline. To withhold it from him for missing one meeting is cruel. And the heartbreaking thing is that he was really trying. CVs for job applications were found near David’s body. He had been on work placements, passed his fork lift truck certificate and had been on a computer training course.
Like many others I believe that benefits sanctions (penalties by the government for things like missing Jobcentre meetings) are completely out of control and putting those most in need at risk. A million people have been sanctioned in the last year – many of them are extremely vulnerable like my brother was.
I want to know how the Department of Work and Pensions can justify welfare sanctions that are driving people to foodbanks and leading to starvation and death. The DWP were aware of my brother’s diabetes and insulin dependency, and, if as they say, they followed procedures and no errors were made, then why did my brother die?
Questions need to be asked of how Iain Duncan Smith is justifying benefit sanctions. What is the full impact of these sanctions? Are they working or simply putting the vulnerable further at risk?
I don’t want anybody else to die like this.
Please sign my petition for a full independent inquiry into the DWP’s sanctions regime.
- David Cameron
My brother David was an ex-soldier who worked for 29 years but died, starving and destitute because he was penalised by the Job Centre for missing a meeting.
Now thanks to the more than 211,000 people who signed my petition - the Government will be forced to investigate whether stopping and sanctioning his benefits contributed to his death.
This victory is not just for David, it's for all vulnerable people who need a safety net in tough times.
I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported this campaign. You are the ones that have helped make all this possible. Your wonderful support has forced MPs to act.
Read the news of the victory in The Mirror
- 2 years ago200,000 supporters
- 2 years agoPetition update
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Disabled activist John McArdle of the Black Triangle campaign lodged a complaint with police in March against Iain Duncan Smith and Chris Grayling, according to the Disability News Service news agency.
He told police in Edinburgh that the two ministers had ignored a coronor’s concerns about the safety of the tests, which are used to judge whether a disabled person receives benefits.
- A spokesperson for Police Scotland told the Disability News Service: “Police in Edinburgh received a report of misconduct in public office on 23 March 2016.
SNP MP Tommy Sheppard has reportedly written to the chief constable of Police Scotland asking to be kept informed of any investigation.
“It is important we make sure that people are receiving the right support, and they are not simply written off to a life on benefits," a spokesperson said.
"The Work Capability Assessment has been improved dramatically since 2008 following a number of reviews, including five independent ones.”
- Read more:
If the DWP is forced to publish its secret records on benefits claimants' suicides, everything could change
DWP could be forced to publish secret details of benefit claimant suicides
- Thousands of young people forced to go without food after benefits wrongly stopped under ‘draconian’ new sanctions regime
THE PRICE OF WAGING WAR ON THE SICK AND DISABLED
Also, the report said the practice was “unable to identify patients experiencing poor mental health or those with dementia”.
Under ‘special measures’ the CQC will conduct a follow up inspection in six months. If no improvement is made the commission can cancel the surgery’s registration.
Ruth Rankine, chief inspector of general practice, said: “During our inspection we saw that staff were caring and treated patients with compassion, dignity and respect. However, we also found that care and treatment was not always delivered in line with best practice.
“We have found significant areas of concern, which is why we are placing the practice into special measures - so opening the way for the practice to receive support from NHS England among others.”
Surveys showed the practice was in line with national averages for patient satisfaction.
However working age patients expressed dissatisfaction about inflexibility in its appointment system.
Other issues identified by the CQC were a lack of “timely” action to identify abnormal results after investigations, a shortfall in infection control procedures and a failure to show staff were approved to give vaccines.