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Fit for work assessment was trigger for suicide, coroner says

Report on death of Michael O’Sullivan blames work capability assessment and warns of risk of more such deaths unless DWP takes action
Work capability assessments protest

A protest against work capability assessments in 2013. Photograph: Peter Marshall/Demotix/Corbis

A disabled man killed himself as a direct result of being found fit to work by the government’s disability assessors, a coroner has ruled. In a report to the Department for Work and Pensions, the coroner for inner north London demanded it take action to prevent further deaths.

Michael O’Sullivan, a 60-year-old father of two from north London, was moved from employment support on to jobseeker’s allowance despite providing reports from three doctors, including his GP, stating that he had long-term depression and agoraphobia and was unable to work. He killed himself at his home on 24 September 2013.

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