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.’