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DR UK sends “chase up” to Secretary of State following her non response to our benefit related deaths concerns

22 July 2021

DR UK has written again to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions following her non response or acknowledgement of two letters we sent to her relating to the issue of benefit related deaths.

The text our 21 July letter from our CEO Kamran Mallick is below:

“Dear Secretary of State,

We are writing following our letter of 28 May 2021 relating to the increase in benefit related deaths in recent years.

We are concerned that we have not received a reply or an acknowledgment from you, and that our 5 October 2020 letter to you on the same issue went unanswered.

This represents an almost three-fold increase of IPRs compared to the period of February 2012 to July 2019.

This week five families who have lost loved ones in cases where the Department for Work and Pensions has been implicated in their death, have written to you to demand a public inquiry into deaths and serious harm related to the benefits system.

We urge you not to add to the distress of these families and issue an early response to their concerns.

In addition, we hope that you will also show respect to the real concerns of the Disabled people we represent and reply with a response to the three issues we have raised:

  • that the DWP should have a statutory duty of care;
  • that "internal process reviews" into benefit claimants’ deaths should be made public;
  • that an independent inquiry should be held in to benefit related deaths.

We believe it is vital that Disabled people are told where the Government stands on these issues and are given reasons if it will not take actions requested above.

Yours sincerely,

 Kamran Mallick Chief Executive”

To help uncover the true scale of the problem of benefit related deaths and cases of serious harm, Rethink Mental Illness has also launched a call for evidence from members of the public who have been affected. 

Anyone who has been affected by a death or serious harm related to the benefit system – either directly or to a loved one – can share their story in confidence here.

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