Man, 56, dies after being ruled 'fit to work' by Jobcentre

Lawrence Bond was looking for a job after his Employment and Support Allowance was stopped last July, despite his ongoing health problems
  • Lawrence Bond died of a heart attack after leaving the Jobcentre in London
  • 56-year-old had been given the all clear to work despite ongoing health issues 
  • Private company Maximus had cut off his Employment and Support Allowance

A man died of a heart attack as he left a Jobcentre where he'd been forced to sign on after being ruled fit to work.

Lawrence Bond was looking for a job after his Employment and Support Allowance was stopped last July, despite his ongoing health problems. 

The 56-year-old suffered a fatal heart attack on January 12 after leaving the Kentish Town Jobcentre - and his grief-stricken family claim the stress of being forced to work led to his death.

Mr Bond's Employment and Support Allowance was cut following a second work capability assessment, set by the Department for Work and Pensions and carried out by private American firm Maximus in July. 

He was awaiting the outcome of a second appeal at the time of his death.

His family said he suffered from difficulty breathing and walking, as a result of weight problems, as well as lifelong anxiety. 

Mr Bond's sister Iris Green said her brother also had an underlying heart condition.

She also said he held down regular jobs and had been working since the age of 16 when he trained as a car mechanic. 

Mr Bond did computer studies and went to companies fixing computers, photocopiers and cash tills but lost his long-term job two years ago after his weight and unfitness made him unemployable.

His family claim he 'turned up at the Jobcentre in a state of distress and anxiety, was again told that he was 'fit to work' and died of a heart attack just after he left'. 

Ms Green told the Camden New Journal newspaper: 'I realise that the reception staff have no clinical knowledge or responsibility for doing it, but the rules need to be changed so that they have the right and discretion when they see a human being turning up in physical distress to flag the situation up and ask for urgent re-assessment.' 

 Mr Bond collapsed and died after leaving the Jobcentre in Kentish Town, London (pictured)

Mr Bond collapsed and died after leaving the Jobcentre in Kentish Town, London (pictured)

 The 56-year-old's family claim he 'turned up at the Jobcentre in a state of distress and anxiety, was again told that he was 'fit to work' and died of a heart attack just after he left'

The 56-year-old's family claim he 'turned up at the Jobcentre in a state of distress and anxiety, was again told that he was 'fit to work' and died of a heart attack just after he left'

A spokeswoman for the London Ambulance Service said an ambulance crew, three single responders in cars and an advanced paramedic were sent to the scene in under seven minutes.

'Sadly, despite the best efforts of our crews, a patient died at the scene,' the service added.

A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: 'The local Jobcentre had been supporting Mr Bond and our sympathies are with his family at this difficult time.

'ESA decisions are made following a thorough assessment and after considering all of the evidence, including that provided by a claimant's doctor or other medical professionals.

'Anyone who disagrees with a decision can ask for it to be reconsidered, and if they still disagree they can appeal.'

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By World Staff Writer 01/24/2017 02:56:00