11 March 2019
What: A first set of figures released by the DWP, due to an FOI from campaigner Frank Zola, suggest that the proportion of disabled people dying soon after being found fit for work may have fallen since the early years of the WCA. The figures appear to show a difference between the proportion of people dying after being found fit for work in the first five-and-a-half years of the test, and those dying after being found fit for work between 2014 and 2017.
A second set of DWP figures, this time released under the FoIA to independent researcher Mo Stewart, say that 548,620 people were found fit for work between 1 March 2014 and 28 February 2017, with 1,560 (or 0.284 per cent) of them dying within six months of this decision. This suggests that the proportion of people dying within six months of being found fit for work reduced when comparing the period October 2008 to March 2014 with March 2014 to February 2017.
Why significant: The figures suggest that something has changed and add weight to the argument that government policy on the WCA did cause deaths. Although there is no suggestion that the WCA and DWP policy stopped causing deaths post-2014.