China Mills (Healing Justice Ldn, and City, University of London)

The Deaths by Welfare Project is an investigation into deaths (including suicides) linked to or caused by the UK welfare system, and co-designed and produced by a team of people, including disabled people, and those with lived experience of the welfare system.

Key to our work of tracking the gradual causalities of welfare reform has been the co-production of a timeline documenting evidence of the links between welfare reform and people’s deaths and tracking the slow bureaucratic violence of welfare reform, through making visible the delay between policies and their harmful effects.

In this session, we’ll talk about the timeline, focusing on government investigations into, and lived experience campaigning about, welfare reform (or benefits related) deaths – or what the Department for Works and Pensions (DWP) calls the ‘death of a customer’. We’ll show how Government investigations into the deaths of people claiming benefits reveal the way complexity, bureaucracy and time are weaponised by the DWP against people claiming, and trying to claim, benefits, and designed, and are carried out in a way that systemically invisiblises state responsibility and accountability.

China Mills leads the Deaths by Welfare project at Healing Justice Ldn (and has co-created the timeline with John Pring, at Disability News Service)

Project info:

Public consultation on the Deaths by Welfare timeline

Twitter: @DeathsbyWelfare @HJusticeLdn @chinatmills