Nov 19, 2015

More Than 600 Commit Suicide In Britain As Result Of Disability Reviews

     Recipients of social security disability benefits in the United Kingdom are being subjected to "work capability assessments" and many are being cut off benefits. Researchers at the universities of Oxford and Liverpool have done a study showing that there is an increased risk of suicide among those subjected to these "work capacity assessments." There may have been more than 600 extra suicides as a result of the "work capacity assessments" done so far.


Anonymous said...

Not surprising. Here in America many people on SSD and all on SSI are still impoverished. For them disability benefits are a lifeline. If they really can't work and someone cuts that lifeline then bad things happen. Many are a benefit check or two away from homelessness. Once homeless their access to medical assistance is impaired. They suffer and start dying prematurely, whether by their own hands or the combined scourges of poverty and illness. Every time I see an attack on disability benefit programs by people trying to make it even harder to get and keep benefits, I remember that peoples lives are at stake.

That is also the awesome responsibility of anyone adjudicating disability claims. If you screw up and deny someone who really can't work, in a percentage of cases, you will have prematurely killed them. In other words, if you had correctly adjudicated that claim and the person received the lifeline provided by the benefit, they would survive and live out a relatively normal life span considering their condition. If you incorrectly deny then they would die much sooner and likely suffer much more during that time. No, you won't be held accountable in any earthly court for such mistakes, or even at work. But you will know. The people you mistakenly denied, and perhaps their families and some others, will know.

Anonymous said...

That's ridiculous - you're ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

The U.S. probably has one of the toughest disability systems in the world. But others do also. Usually it is those English speaking countries like Canada, Australia, and the UK for some reason. Maybe it is that Puritanism background that you must suffer and work until you die.

Kind of sad.

Anonymous said...

Yes...lets all not work and die...much better. Whoever came up with the ridiculous notion that you have to work to have things was an idiot. Everything should be free. Damn those English speaking countries!!! If they'd only change the laws limiting how many terms a president can serve, Obama will have us all living for free...yahoooooooo!!!!

Anonymous said...


And every pay they mistakenly issue might save a life. Also, properly made denials might result in suicides--the decision maker's fault, too?

You're insane. You've been repping claimants too long, bud.

Anonymous said...


7:09's main point seems to be that adjudicators should not treat their jobs lightly. Nobody can reasonably dispute that people will tend to die sooner if they have severe illnesses and lack access to decent medical care to treat those illness. It follows logically that when decisions to grant or deny benefits affect access to medical care, it has a greater than random chance effect on likelihood of mortality.

To the extent that mistaken denials cause people to become homeless it's reasonable to assume the same. As you might expect many studies show shorter life spans for homeless people on average.

Adjudicators should just follow the rules. Grant claims that satisfy them, deny ones that don't. Realize that the decisions you make affect people's lives and do the best job you can.

Anonymous said...

You are an ignorant ass. I've spent 30+ years working sometimes 70 hours per week, going to school and raising my family. I started to get sick 3 years ago but kept trying to work through it. Disability never crossed my mind and when it was suggested I blew it off. I know what the stigma is. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. You don't go from hard working productive social person with a future to completely dependent on others and trapped by your inability to be independent because it might be a good vacation. I have no power over my own life. Go to hell. Actually, I do wish this on you and Trump.