A dad who was driven to desperation by Universal Credit tried to kill himself while on the telephone to the DWP after he was denied payment for 10 weeks.
Dean Lovell-Payne, 52, who was disabled by a fall, took a large overdose in September 2018 after having to endure approximately three months without getting any benefits at all. Presently Dean, his partner Paula and their three children Andrew, 30, Lou, 17, and Phoebe, 15, have been made to move into a house in the woods on the outskirts of Bournemouth which is only obtainable by a dirt road, meaning that wheelchair-bound Dean is completely housebound.
Despite appealing to the Universal Credit helpline, following a 10-week payment delay Dean said he believed he had no alternative but to take his own life during the call as he believed his life insurance would pay out more swiftly.
Funnily enough, he got his benefits the same day after police were thought to have alerted the DWP to the incident, yet they made him wait all that time before swiftly paying him out because he’d tried to take his own life just so that they didn’t look unsympathetic.
The former ambulance worker, from Poole, Dorset, said that each and every day is horrible, and he realised things were utterly hopeless and that his life insurance would be more inclined to pay out in time to support his family than by Universal Credit, and he thought that it was his only choice to end his family from its misery, so he took an overdose.
He didn’t even hang up the telephone and he told the cruel monsters at the DWP precisely what he was doing, and it seemed like the only way his family would be saved and no longer suffering, the only end to the hardship and instability.
The next thing he knew the police and ambulance had arrived, but the only reason he survived the overdose was that he had a tolerance to the painkillers and sleeping tablets that he’d taken, which was more luck than judgement.
And even though he’s the same person, he’s now apprehensive, nervous and mistrusting of anyone in the benefits system, and even though he survived it, he doesn’t see much of a future for himself.
Dean has been on benefits since 2011 after he developed sepsis and global nerve and joint pain following an operation, but despite his health improving and being able to work part-time with the ambulance service, he suffered a major fall and consequent infection in June which prevented him from walking.
He was forced to move to a cheaper home, after which Dean applied for Universal Credit the same month, but their current home, which is a converted motel in secluded woods outside Bournemouth near Ringwood, Dorset is totally inadequate for him and his family to live in.
The access to the house is shocking, it’s only gravel paths and sometimes he feels like a hostage there, and the house is freezing in the winter. Half the month they don’t have any heating because they can’t afford to heat the house, and after going through the mandatory checks, Dean was told that he would have to wait five weeks for the payment to be processed.
He maintains that the delay of 10 weeks in total meant he and Paula came close to being forced to put their children into care and meant that they extinguished any little savings the couple had, but five weeks came and went, and they waited and waited and they were reaching crisis time.
Their money had long since run out and the end of the school holidays meant the knock-on effect of no Universal Credit was going to bite, and without confirmed Universal Credit they couldn’t get their children to school, and couldn’t sort out their free school meals or feed them at home.
They also had letters from council tax demanding money, and they couldn’t get any prescriptions either, and all of their standing orders were set to bounce within days.
The only security net he had left for his family was his life insurance, and even though Dean survived the overdose, his life has not improved, and he struggles to get out of bed in the morning to take his daughter to school, and then get back into bed.
Dean has worked all of his life, but now he’s being made to feel worthless, simply because he’s too ill to work, and he feels helpless, and there doesn’t appear to be anywhere to turn.
Paula is Dean’s full-time carer and has to carry him to the car every day so that he can drive his daughter to school, but he doesn’t know from one day to the next if they can get their daughter to school or not.
He wants to provide for his family but he can’t, and Paula sees Dean struggle every day and it’s terrifying for her, and she feels like a failure as a mother because they can’t do the stuff for their children that they’re supposed to do.
The DWP stated that they sympathise with the distress Mr Lovell-Payne felt, but as far as they’re concerned Jobcentre staff managed his claim with sensitivity and in line with their duty of care, and that the Universal Credit payment was made as soon as Mr Lovell-Payne’s claim had been properly established.
The Universal Credit system needs to be examined by proficient thinkers because this is affecting people’s lives psychologically, physically and emotionally, and this is ethically incorrect, and the DWP has ruined countless genuine people’s lives.
Of course, there are scammers out there that know the system inside out, they know what boxes to tick and what answers to give, this is why genuinely sick people who have worked always get the worst treatment.
It was never about fraud, it was all about conserving money by any means possible, and if people died along the way it wouldn’t be any skin off their nose as far as the DWP is concerned, a few more deaths simply means that they save a little more money.
There will be some people out there maintaining that insurance companies don’t pay out if someone commits suicide, but there’s a number of companies that do pay out for suicide, and suicide prevention in the United Kingdom has been credited for the current slump in the number of suicides, but sadly, it’s still pretty much a daily occurrence.
Over the past 3 years, there has been a drop in the number of suicides, but that doesn’t suggest it’s a problem that can be disregarded. In 2016, 4,941 people in the United Kingdom committed suicide, with the number of men being three times greater than that of women, that said, female suicide rates are higher than they have been in a decade.
And losing a loved one not only brings heartache as they strive to interpret their thinking, but it can further present severe financial hardships to a loved one and their family, and it’s a popular misconception that life insurance doesn’t pay out if the cause of death was suicide, this is just not the case, but it’s also not that simple.
It’s all in the policy’s small print, and there are several clauses drafted into a life insurance policy that decides whether or not a payout is issued.
The suicide clause is the period of time following the commencement of the policy in which a payout will not be made if the event of death is suicide, and this clause exists to protect the insurer and is intended to prevent vulnerable people from committing suicide, for the purpose of obtaining a payout.
However, on occasions, if suicide is committed inside a period stated by the suicide clause, insurers will reimburse the premiums which have been paid to date. Therefore, even if suicide was committed during the suicide clause period, it’s still important to communicate with the insurer.
The suicide clause, in summary, describes the time period at the beginning of the policy in which if suicide is committed, a payout will not be made. The clause is typically 2 years, but can occasionally be 12 months, depending on the insurer.
After this period, a full payout is likely to be issued, even if the cause of death is suicide, and the clause normally restarts if an existing life insurance policy is replaced with a new one.
This man did work until his injury, and we shouldn’t knock any genuine sick person but of course, there are scammers out there that make us question some of the real ones, and at the end of the day Universal Credit is destroying people, and it needs scrapping.
It’s a shame, but the DWP do have to follow a process, and there’s nothing that the other person on the other side of the telephone can do, and even if an MP steps in, they can only go so fast, and listening to suicide calls is not part of their job description.
Sadly, what isn’t part of that process is hurrying up the process, in fact it’s likely to dawdle it slightly as they attempt to make sense of the new information coming in and how it affects benefits, and these people on the other end of the telephone aren’t callous, and they don’t have the choices that people believe they do, and those people that do make these decisions can’t be directly contacted by the public.
Even the decision makers can only do so much and they have to follow the law and administration that the Home Secretary has set out, they can’t deviate.
We understand that people need help, but lately, the government have been useless at providing help, because the Tories perpetually use a divide and destroy strategy when it comes to benefits, making out that all those getting benefits are scroungers, well they’re not!
This guy and his family are entitled to these benefits, and we should all be considering how this would affect our lives if we were in his situation, and after paying into a system for numerous years and contributing to society as an ambulance worker, don’t you think this man deserves to be supported by the welfare system 101 per cent, unlike EU nationals claiming child tax credit for children they may or may not have in another country?
However, we have a host of rabid Tories, killing those in need of assistance, but this is what they’re entitled to by law, but instead, they’re simply punishing those people in need.
Yet again here is a perfect example of the government not looking after their own, but they spend millions of pounds on less important things, yet our country has no money to support the ones that require it.
Austerity when it suits the government, same old crap, different day, and we should quit condemning him and others like him because everyone would do the same if suddenly they fell sick or were disabled and helpless to fend for themselves.
And those people out there that are happy to rebuke the unemployed or people that are seriously disabled, don’t say that you wouldn’t claim a penny from so-called hardworking taxpayers, and if he is getting as much as some people that are working, don’t you think that shows you that the wage system is antiquated and that taxpayers are being short-changed?
If someone on benefits requires that amount to live on and still struggles, then rather than reprimanding them, people should stand up, and demand more wages. The government lie to the public every day and the people put up with it, choosing to take their disappointments out on people like this man and his family.
Remember this man has already paid into the system, unlike many others who never have but make benefits a lifestyle alternative. The problem is the Tories have demonised all benefit claimants as parasites, which implies that the worthy are suffering because of a tiny number of offenders.
This man was driven to desperation, and if anyone believes it was a ploy to make a buck, which appears to be the case, then maybe people need to re-evaluate how much of a totally idiotic idea this is, putting a gamble against your favour with your life would be, considering that perhaps he’d get some free money if he took his own life.
Now consider for the briefest moment, this guy and his family get a place, not by choice because look there’s no social housing, but the outgoings were just too much because being without support for ten weeks is going to make someone do drastic stuff, yet there’s a lot of people who are willing to talk down about him as if he should be ashamed, but there’s a lot of people who are capable of working 50 hours a week, but then they have their limbs, they’re not broken, and they’re not disabled.
He further worked for the NHS, so people should really be thankful for their good health because anyone could find themselves in his situation. Not only that, in England and Wales, it’s an offence to cause harassment, fear or suffering under the Public Order Act 1986.
This carries a £1,000 fine or a penalty notice of £80, and if the crime was perpetrated with intent to cause harassment, fear or suffering, the wrongdoer can be given 6 months jail time or a fine.
This shameful repugnant government has to go, and Universal Credit is evil. Does anyone actually believe that it takes 5-6 weeks in this age of computing to sort out a claim? And why do they make the forms so complicated? They actually don’t need to make them so difficult, after all, there will never be enough jobs to go around anyhow in an island of 68 million people, so we need to quit buying nukes, end foreign aid, and let other nations take their share.
As long as people and poor people keep voting, and keep voting for their perceived betters our lives will be rubbish, and all strides made to make the ordinary person’s life civilised and more comfortable will be succeeded by 19th-century cruel means-tested procedures.
The level of deprivation we see now will be nothing compared to what it will be if the government keep on with their grand scheme of de-regulation and economic duality, and don’t think it can’t happen, it can, and it will if people keep voting these vile people into seats of authority.
We need a government with a social conscience, and we need it thirty years ago, but people choose Tory because they believe it makes them better than the rest of us, but the system won’t be right until it works for everyone, and that includes people on the streets.
Universal Credit is just not fit for purpose, and we should all feel for this guy who was a hard worker, but fell on hard times but was treated in such a disturbing way. Everyone that works pays National Insurance to make sure they’re covered should something like this happen, and it’s utterly shameful.
Our biggest opponent by far this society has is the working class Tory voter, who has immortalised this scandal but still can’t see how exploited they are, and it’s a scandal quite frankly, and our government are taking us back to Victorian standards.
How Theresa May can sleep at night knowing that people have to use food banks to survive is beyond me. She takes from the poorest with one hand and plates it out to her wealthy mates with the other, true evil!
Universal Credit is going to cause serious harm and injury to thousands and people are never going to be able to get themselves out of debt, and the Tories either know this and are hoping for mass suicides or they just don’t give a damn.
Jobcentre workers get bonus payments for sanctioning claimants and have fixed targets per month, and people who attempt to challenge workers at the Jobcentre, or suggest that they have caused them to become suicidal are considered hostile and possibly violent on their record, and this world that we now live in really is cursed!