What: Paul Donnachie takes his own life after his employment and support allowance (ESA) is removed. His body is found by bailiffs the following January. His sister, Eleanor, believes DWP failed to contact Paul’s GP to ask for detailed information about his mental health, and ignored its own guidance by failing to send someone to his flat to talk to him face-to-face about his support needs. He had previously claimed jobseeker’s allowance and filed a complaint because of the way he had been treated by his local jobcentre. He was sanctioned several times and fell deeper and deeper into debt. DWP removed his ESA when he failed to attend a WCA on 30 June – the second or third assessment he had missed. His benefits were stopped and the withdrawal of his payments was backdated by four weeks, pushing him even further into debt. DWP also contacted Glasgow City Council, so his housing benefit and council tax benefit were both stopped. Eleanor says that fighting for her own PIP and ESA led her to attempt to take her own life months later.
Why significant: Another death linked to the WCA and further medical evidence.