A Jobcenter located in in Kentish Town, London, is facing lawsuit after its employee suffered a major heart attack on his way home from work.
The 56-year-old was given an all clear approval, and forced to sign on as an employee despite his health troubles.
Lawrence Bond had his Employment and Support Allowance cut off by a private American company named Maximus, where he previously worked. His bereaved family believe he died due to stress from the new job.
Mr Bond left the Jobcenter on 12 January, 2017, but died in Highgate Road after suffering a heart attack.
According to a report from Mail Online, Mr Bond fell victim to a second Work Capability Assessment (CWA) which was carried out by the private U.S. company Maximus in July, 2016.
His Employment and Support Allowance was severed according to the standards set by U.K.’s Department for Work and Pensions.
While Mr Bond waited for the outcome of his second appeal, he decided to get a substitute job which regrettably led to his untimely death.
The report confirms he was overweight, asthmatic, and had battled anxiety for years.
Mr Bond lived in Gillies Street but made a stop to see a friend after leaving his work place, Camdem New Journal reported. He collapsed while boarding the 214 bus, and was pronounced dead at the scene after paramedics made fruitless efforts to resuscitate him.
Iris Green, a sister to the deceased, revealed that her brother had an underlying heart condition, adding that he was in obviously in “physical distress” after arriving at the Jobcenter.
Green said Mr Bond had a few regular jobs in his prime, having worked as a mechanic at the age of 16.
The 56-year-old was a qualified computer engineer who worked with a few companies repairing computers, cash machines and photocopiers until his weight and deteriorating health got him discharged 2 years ago.
“I do feel really sorry for the people who dealt with him,” Ms Green said, noting that her employers are not to blame.
“They face an awful dilemma of being the people responsible for collecting signatures for people signing on as fit for work, even when they can see people are very sick.”
Ms Green added, “I realize 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.”
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 but the efforts couldn’t save Mr Bond from death.
Meanwhile, a rep 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.”