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Heart-attack victim in cash-axe shock

Date online: 31 January 2014

A MAN forced to give up work with heart problems had his benefits axed for failing to complete a capability assessment... after suffering a heart attack during the examination.

The man, who received employment support allowance, was required to attend a work-capability assessment to assess his suitability for work.

During the appointment he was told he was having a heart attack, forcing the nurse to stop the assessment.

Two weeks later he got a letter from Jobcentre Plus saying he had withdrawn from the assessment and was being sanctioned. The man took his case to Oldham East and Saddleworth MP Debbie Abrahams.

A spokesman for the MP said: “It is meeting constituents with terrible stories like this that spurred Debbie on to publicly question Iain Duncan Smith and make the Government face the consequences of benefit sanctions policies.

“No-one’s saying people on benefits shouldn’t have to look for work when appropriate. But this government is going beyond the pale in using underhand tactics to force vulnerable people off benefits to massage the unemployment data.”

The man is one of a string of people who have spoken to the MP, whose campaigning has forced a Work and Pensions Committee review into the matter.

An anonymous woman was sanctioned after missing an appointment despite phoning on the morning of her assessment to explain her difficulty in attending due to widespread arthritis and the need for two knee replacements. The DWP wrote to say they “doubt the reasons she provided”.

Another man began claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance in November 2012 after living off a redundancy payment. He received a letter from Jobcentre Plus in Preston saying his allowance was stopped on May 15 2013 because he had failed to attend an interview the day before. In fact he HAD attended and saw an adviser — just not the one he was scheduled to see, because he was unavailable.

Despite the Jobcentre’s mistake the man was told his only course is to appeal or submit a new claim — which put him overdrawn at the bank. The MP’s spokesman added: “I am very concerned about the rising number of cases coming to me of increased use of sanctions. The knock-on effect of unfair sanctions is financial hardship and poverty for people already living on low incomes.”


The "ZERO HOURS CONTRACTS" system is yet another scandalous state of affairs that this Government have instigated with people listed as working but having to sit at home waiting for someone to call them and tell them if they have work to do or not.

Meaning they cannot claim any benefits or allowances, or even leave that job without then being barred from getting any unemployment benefits for 6 months.

Why are we all putting with this disgraceful situation..?

Look the these tax cuts for the wealthy don't just find themselves, and when you're a highly paid BBC exec, or such then you need every penny you can lay your hands on, I mean have you seen how much it costs to buy and run a house in Hampstead? Or the price of organic lentils, it just doesn't bear thinking about!
And little Tarquins school fees have gone up, but the licence fee hasn't, I don't know how we're going to afford the tickets for the experimental theatre !

In my assessment i was told because i can pick up and move empty cardboard boxes and coins from a table i am fit for work dispite my health problems

@latics observer. zero hours were here before the present government.

wondering how long before the workhouses reopen ?

Flake - stop being silly. The top rate of tax being increased didn't raise any money, it was nothing more than a booby trap set by Labour because they knew the game was up.If it was the right thing to do, why did it only come in 37 days before the last general election? The top rate of tax has been higher under this govt than the entire time, bar 37 days, that labour were in.
Latics Observer equally naïve in not realising Abrahams works for Andy Burnham, how useless was he?

Oh dear ProDriver sense of humour failure? Can you not tell sarcasm and the hypocrisy of left wingers who earn a fortune while nearly 200000 people are criminalised per year to give them their privileged lives?
Have you ever met any of the wealthy lefties who really do talk like this and whilst they wring their hands over the cuts they don't want to pay any extra tax.

Debbie Abrahams is our best bet, I went with an issue to all 3 (the lack of regulatory action against car insurers) lib dem: message from PA saying nothing he can do, Conservative leader made me fill out a form asking if the meeting will be covered by media, I said no, didn't get a response, Debbie Abrahams wrote me a letter, met me at a time I chose and raised my issue with the transport Secretary

Sadly I am far from surprised by this. After having to leave the job she loved, my partner has had 3 atos reports denying her benefits for 15 months. All were totally ludicrous and eventually declared 'not fit for purpose'. I don't mind close scrutiny on claimants but the current system goes for the easiest targets and is patently unjust.


Sorry Pro Driver what is your point? I've no idea who Abrahams is, nor do I care, I've heard of Andy Burnham but care even less about him, what has either of them got to do with a situation which may have been part of the previous administration policy, I don't know and again don't care.

My argument is about about a seriously and possibly illegal system under "Zero Hours Contracts" whereby decent people are basically slaves unable to earn any money or indeed do any work because there is none !!

That is so now the norm abt attending job centre seeing someone else then u get a letter saying u did not attend. My son had same problem. When is this country going to actual start to be countered against these Victorian workhouse rules

Someone with a serious heart condition should be in the support group. This poor man is clearly not well enough to go through the stress of all this and he needs to make a full recovery before he can. This is yet another example of the dog eat dog society this government has created. Who knows what is round the next corner for any of us and we all need to be mindful of that. This story is sickening.


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