Killed by benefits cuts: Starving soldier

(141 Posts)
CFSKate Mon 28-Jul-14 18:56:24

www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/killed-benefits-cuts-starving-soldier-3923771

Diabetic David Clapson, 59, died with just £3.44 left in his account after his Jobseeker’s Allowance was axed because he missed an appointment

David once faced death on a daily basis as he served his country loyally in the terror hell of Northern Ireland.

And when he left the Army he went straight into the ­workplace with BT before becoming a full-time carer for his sick mother.

After she went into a home, diabetic David turned to the state for help while he looked for work.

But under the Coalition’s callous new benefits rules he had his £71.70 a week Jobseeker’s Allowance axed – merely because he missed an appointment with an adviser.

Stripped of his income, the 59-year-old could not afford food or electricity and died starving, ­penniless and alone at his home.

His death was from diabetic ­ketoacidosis – caused by not taking his insulin.

When David died he had just £3.44 to his name, six tea bags, a tin of soup and an out-of-date can of sardines. His electricity card was out of credit meaning the fridge where he should have kept his insulin chilled was not working.

A coroner also found he had no food in his stomach.

A pile of CVs for job applications were found near David’s body.

Fcukfifa Mon 28-Jul-14 19:07:46

That poor poor man.

My friend is has been on jobseekers since February, she had an appt to meet someone at a library to check over her cv but looked at the wrong date on the letter she was given and missed the appt.

As soon as she realised she rang up, apologised and rearranged and attended it.

At her next signing she was given a form to explain what happened and a couple of weeks later informed she had been sanction for 4 weeks!

Then she was due to sign on a couple of Thursdays ago but got a letter saying due to strikes she didn't need to go and a date of her next appt. when she next went in she was told she still did need to come in and the letter was wrong hmm and that she will probably get sanctioned again. She has been in absolute bits this weekend as it would mean a sanction of 12 weeks!

However after going in today and seeing someone different he said no action will be taken after someone high up had looked at the case.

I feel like it's so wrong to make cruel sanctions (without even much notice to give time to compensate for less money coming in) for simple genuine mistakes.

If someone makes a small mistake at work ie, a wrong date written down etc you don't not get paid?

My friend is currently appealing her first sanction but they make it very hard work and you have to dig for all the information on how to do this yourself, the jobcentre advisors hadn't told her what forms she would need.

I hope there isn't more sad stories like this mans to come.

Fcukfifa Mon 28-Jul-14 19:09:16

Apologise for the silly typos smile

NickiFury Mon 28-Jul-14 19:14:54

This story is just the beginning. This is going to happen to more and more vulnerable people and no one cares. Start a thread about "should I report for suspected benefit fraud" and you'll get hundred of posters all over it slagging off benefits claimants. That's the only interest anyone has in those on benefits. Hating and suspecting people on them.

The powers that be have done their job well.

RIP David Clapson. My Dad served in NI so I know how hard it was. You deserved so much more sad.

That is horrific, poor man. sad

TheFairyCaravan Mon 28-Jul-14 19:23:41

This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Iain Duncan-Smith, Cameron, Osbourne, McVey and Clegg don't care. They aren't hungry, they will never run out of food or fuel. How they sleep at night is beyond me.

RIP David Clapson. Your death should never have happened in 2014 in the 7th richest country in the world. sad

ilovechristmas1 Mon 28-Jul-14 20:19:25

i really thought when all these cuts (benefit and LA) came in a few years ago there would be unrest in the population

im not saying riot or maybe i am etc but as usual the British are very meek and take all thats thrown at them

it seems the goverment can make any law,change to this country and they know we will all moan and throw our hands up but not really make a stand

how alone and down this man must have felt,caring for his mum,thus saving the goverment £££££££££££ and then watching her need more help must have been devastating

so sad this this happened and is happening right now

TurboWithAKick Mon 28-Jul-14 20:23:14

But there is a very very good support system for ex servicemen and their families

TheFairyCaravan Mon 28-Jul-14 20:34:44

Are you serious, Turbo?

NickiFury Mon 28-Jul-14 20:36:39

No there isn't Turbo.

AuntieStella Mon 28-Jul-14 20:37:03

In the charitable sector yes there is.

But you cannot compel anyone to approach a charity.

BunnyPotter Mon 28-Jul-14 20:39:02

Oh well, Turbo, it was his own fault then for not accessing it.

Iain Duncan-Smith, Cameron, Osbourne, McVey and Clegg don't care. They aren't hungry, they will never run out of food or fuel. How they sleep at night is beyond me

This is true. They don't give a shit.

SevenZarkSeven Mon 28-Jul-14 20:47:37

Heart-breaking.

The stories about sanctions for spurious reasons and that's your money stopped now and so no food power for however many weeks is terrifying. No first warning second warning, no fairness in how these things are being dished out, just right money stopped fuck you.

It makes me feel anxious just thinking about it and we're nowhere near the benefits system fortunately. I feel so so sorry for those who are reliant benefits not just for the obvious reasons but put this on top it's just awful.

TheFairyCaravan Mon 28-Jul-14 20:54:20

The charities that are there don't have to support you AuniteStella. He might have already used them and been turned down this time. He should not have had to turn to charity, he has served his country, he has worked paid taxes and NI he should have been able to claim benefits. He should not have starved to death.

AuntieStella Mon 28-Jul-14 21:03:52

They don't have to support you, but I know SSAFA wouldn't cut someone off simply because of previous assistance, and I very much doubt the others would.

(And if you are concerned about someone who has served in uniform (including National Service) or their widow/er, do remember that the military benevolent organisations can offer a wide range of services. SSAFA is a good starting point. And if someone is immediately vulnerable the urgent thing is to get someone meet the need, even if it's not the organisation you think shoo be doing it).

NickiFury Mon 28-Jul-14 21:04:15

The help charities can offer is limited and like all other support systems there must be priorities considering the huge demand. Single soldiers without families are at the bottom of the pile. I am an ex serving soldier myself.

ilovechristmas1 Mon 28-Jul-14 21:12:43

many ex service people suffer MH problems that are not recognised,it makes me so cross that so many fall through the net

in this day and age there should be more support and help for ex service people,many many end up homeless etc,it should not happen

Patrickstarisabadbellend Mon 28-Jul-14 21:15:33

My brother has learning difficulties and has problems reading. He was sanctioned and left with no money for a month.

He's an ex soldier

wtffgs Mon 28-Jul-14 21:22:29

That's awful Patrick.sad

RIP David Clapson. thanks

WhistlingPot Mon 28-Jul-14 23:22:52

Truly awful.

Perhaps we should link this to the Nick Clegg thread, for his cronies to dismiss, along with the "many British families still feeling the squeeze – but this is good news. It shows the rescue is working"

hmm

WhistlingPot Mon 28-Jul-14 23:28:35

Sorry, I see MotherSouperior has already linked it on that thread.

here

NickiFury Mon 28-Jul-14 23:34:49

This thread has been on for four hours with only 22 responses, 3 are mine. Just a prime example of the general apathy towards our most vulnerable really isn't it? I would like to see MN put it in discussions of the day but I fear there'd still be as little interest.

LostTeacher Tue 29-Jul-14 00:06:27

I think a lot of people will not be able to understand his situation if they haven't had to ever rely on benefits or a low income.

He had £3 to his name. Not £3 in his 'food shopping' account but another £2000 in the 'holiday' account and £1200 put away for Christmas. £3 and no more money coming in any time soon.

When you rely on benefits and low wages, you live hand to mouth. If that money is taken away one week then there is no where else to borrow it from.

Now most of us have friends or family that wouldn't see us go hungry. But if you didn't I imagine that this situation is all too easy to happen.

It's disgusting that people can be sanctioned like this.

wafflyversatile Tue 29-Jul-14 00:11:45

But they shouldn't have to know and feel able to approach a charity. The welfare system should be there to help and guide you, not make life as hard as possible for you and penalise you for the tiniest of mistakes.

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