“We were appalled and saddened to hear of Errol Graham’s death and the awful circumstances surrounding it. Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family and friends at this difficult time. We are aware of many people whose deaths have been linked to problems with benefits. Every one of them is a tragedy, and should have been prevented.
“Our benefits system is meant to provide a safety net to people who need it, for example when our mental health prevents us being able to work. But the process for getting benefits is complicated and extremely stressful, particularly for those who are at their most unwell. During benefits assessments, people will be forced to recount trauma, self-harm and even suicide attempts. And once someone is receiving benefits, looming frequent reassessments and constant threats of cutting support through sanctions can cause further deterioration in mental health.
“The government must now end repeated face to face reassessments and remove the sanctions regime from people with long term mental health problems. The whole system is in dire need of independent regulation. No one else should go through what Mr Graham and his loved ones have gone through.”Benefits Universal credit