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DWP Apologises For Finding Six Stone Stephen Smith Fit For Work

February 5, 2019

A man with multiple debilitating illnesses and whose weight plummeted to six stone was denied benefits and deemed fit for work, despite the fact that he could barely walk.

Stephen Smith, 64, from Liverpool, has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, osteoarthritis, an enlarged prostate and uses a colostomy bag to go to the toilet.

Nevertheless, he failed a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) work capability assessment (WCA) in 2017, which meant that his employment support allowance (ESA) payments were stopped. Instead, he was told to sign on to receive a £67 a week jobseeker’s allowance, visit the jobcentre once a week and prove he was looking for work.

Smith, who was living alone, told the Liverpool Echo: “I could only make it to the kitchen to make food once a day. I had no muscles in the back of my leg, which meant I couldn’t stand up at all and had to lean or sit down all the time, but they were telling me I was fit for work.”

With nowhere else to turn, he contacted the Casa community centre and his case was taken up by Terry Craven, a benefit claims adviser. Opinions were sought from two doctors, who confirmed that Smith experienced significant difficulty and pain when completing simple movements and daily activities.

A note written by one of them stated: “It is my opinion that Mr Smith could not walk 20 metres without pain or exhaustion.”

The opinions were submitted as evidence to bolster Smith’s case but in January last year his appeal was rejected by the DWP. It informed him that he had not scored the requisite number of points for him to be deemed as having limited capability for work.

With Craven’s assistance, he continued to fight his case and won the chance to challenge it at a tribunal just over 12 months after his appeal was rejected.

In the interim, Smith’s health deteriorated further. He contracted pneumonia and was taken to hospital. Photographs of him during his stay in hospital, obtained by the Echo, showed him looking emaciated.

Craven said: “Around December time me and my wife went to check in on him and my wife said ‘if we don’t do something now, he’s not long for this world’.”

Despite his poor health, Smith was forced to get a pass to allow him to leave hospital and go to the tribunal to fight his case. Fortunately, having seen Smith’s condition for himself, the judge stated that his mobility and health problems meant that he satisfied the requirement for ESA.

Smith said that without the help of Craven and others at Casa, he “probably wouldn’t be here today. I had nowhere to turn. They have saved my life.”

The WCA has long been blighted by controversy. It has been widely criticised as error-prone and mechanistic, often causing harm to the sick and disabled claimants who are obliged to undergo it. Statistics published in 2015 showed that almost 90 people a month were dying after being declared fit for work.

After the Echo published Smith’s story, the DWP apologised and said he would receive ESA backpay.

A spokesperson said: “We are sorry for the experience Mr Smith has had and we are committed to ensuring that people with health conditions get the support they’re entitled to.

“Following the independent tribunal’s ruling, he is now receiving full ESA support. While Mr Smith continued to receive benefits and support during his appeal, we can confirm he will shortly receive all back payments for ESA due.”

6 Comments leave one →
  1. February 5, 2019 6:32 pm

    Reblogged this on michaelsnaith.

  2. Beebs permalink
    February 5, 2019 9:33 pm

    Not good enough. The DWP DM should be prosecuted for gross negligence, sacked, the DWP should be fined.

  3. February 5, 2019 9:36 pm

    From Here –

    “Casa community centre and his case was taken up by Terry Craven, a benefit claims adviser.”

    Stephen with welfare advisor Terry Craven and Tony Nelson of the CASA (Image: Liverpool Echo)

    So… how come those ‘benefit claims advisers’ haven’t heard of the FU*King POLICE???
    Lowlife criminal scum.

    Care Act 2014 – Safeguarding adults at risk of abuse or neglect –

    Fraud Act 2006 –

    Misconduct in Public Office –

    Criminal Justice Act 1988 – Torture

    Criminal Attempts Act 1981 –


    Homicide: Murder and Manslaughter –

    UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

    UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – Articles

    Disability Hate Crime – Criminal Justice Act 2003 (section 146) –
    Increase in sentences for aggravation related to disability –
    “Our collective experience ranging from trade union officials to Welfare Rights advisors”

    Perverting The Course of Justice –

    Assisting an Offender – section 4(1) Criminal Law Act 1967 –

    Concealing an Arrestable Offence: s.5 Criminal Law Act 1967 –

    Serious Crime Act 2007 – Encouraging or Assisting Crime –

    Accessories and Abettors Act 1861 –

    So where are those DWP Loving Union Fakers bent Police???

    Merseyside Police –

    Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner –
    “The current incumbent is Jane Kennedy, who represents the Labour Party.”

    BSing hate nonce FAKE

    What those Abusing Hate Criminal Nonce Filth masturbate over –

  4. February 6, 2019 1:57 am


    so those Union AND NHS criminals didn’t report any DWP Abuse and Hate Crime to their bent Police mates…
    ..or their SOCIAL SERVICES nonce mates –

    So when are the local council criminal nonce vermin going to start DOING THEIR JOBS?

    Here are some blind-eye turning ‘Wilfully Neglectful’ criminal filth –

    are those abusing nonce rats in Prison yet?

    Misconduct in Public Office –

    Care Act 2014 – Safeguarding adults at risk of abuse or neglect –

    Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 –
    Ill-treatment or wilful neglect: care worker offence –
    Ill-treatment or wilful neglect: care provider offence –

    along with the criminal nonce running the Liverpool gang of blind-eye turning ‘Wilfully Neglectful’ criminal filth –

    Mayor of Liverpool (spot the nonce) Joe Anderson, OBE –

    Joe Anderson, OBE – Member of WCA (Atos/Capita/Maximus) criminal QUACKS Union UNISON –

    About time these criminal nonces were put on the ‘DWP Diet’

    WCA (Atos/Capita/Maximus) criminal QUACKS Union UNISON –
    HAS AN OFFICE *IN* Merseyside Police Headquarters –

    When is this hate criminal nonce rat, and it’s gangs, going to prison?

  5. February 6, 2019 3:38 am

    this article is being blocked by Facebook

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