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The Commons work and pensions select committee calls for a new independent body to investigate deaths of benefit claimants.

What: The Commons work and pensions select committee calls on the government to set up a new independent body – modelled on the police complaints watchdog – to investigate the deaths of benefit claimants. The committee says that such a body should conduct reviews “at the request of relatives, or automatically where no living relative remains, in all instances where an individual on an out-of-work working age benefit dies whilst in receipt of that benefit”. The committee also asks DWP to say how many peer review cases involved a claimant who was subject to a sanction at the time of their death, and whether any of them led to policy changes. The government does not accept this recommendation in its response, stating: “There are already a number of routes for review available to relatives or people close to the deceased.”

Why significant: The report shows MPs were now aware of the peer review process and of deaths related to benefits.


'Benefit sanctions policy beyond the Oakley Review'
'Benefit Sanctions: Beyond the Oakley Review: Government Response to the Committee’s Fifth Report of Session 2014–15'