The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has been forced to release updated Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) mortality statistics following a freedom of information request. The request has revealed that 111,450 ESA claims were closed following the death of claimants between March 2014 to February 2017. The figures relate to those of working age, between 16-64. Just under 10,000 were in the assessment phase when passing away.
The Freedom of information request came from disability campaigner Gail Ward.
The information also showed that more than 8,140 Incapacity Benefit and Severe Disability Allowance claimants died in the 3 year period.
The DWP estimate that there were around 4 million unique working-age claimants of these benefits between March 2014 and February 2017. Meaning 3% of claimants died.
The DWP defended themselves by stating “no causal effect between the benefit and the number of people who died should be assumed from these figures”. The department “does not hold information on the reason for death”