18 March 2015
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.