A MOTHER battling a serious lung condition was told she no longer qualified for benefits on the day she died from her illness.
Dawn Amos, 67, died as a result of suffering chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a collection of lung diseases. It left her with difficulty breathing, unable to walk for long periods of time, dress herself or do daily tasks independently.
She received attendance allowance from the Department of Work and Pensions to help with the cost of her personal care.
Heartbroken husband Mick Amos, 64, of Masefield Road, Braintree, discovered a letter sent from the department two days after his wife’s death. It notified Mrs Amos that her allowance was being withdrawn based on ‘treatment, medication, symptoms and test results’.
It had been sent on the day, November 27, Mr Amos had taken the decision to turn off Dawn’s life support machine.
Mr Amos, a self-employed window cleaner, said: “It’s disgusting and heartbreaking. We had to turn her machine off. How ill do you have to be? On the day she died I came downstairs and she couldn’t breathe properly so I phoned the ambulance, who said if she gets worse call us back. As soon as I got off the phone she collapsed and I was on the phone again. She had stopped breathing and I was doing CPR while I was on the phone to the ambulance.”
Dawn was taken to Broomfield Hospital, where she was put on a life support machine. Mr Amos and Dawn’s daughter Karina Mann agreed to turn off the machine the same day.
Karina, 42, of Vernon Way in Braintree, said her mum had received attendance allowance for six months before they asked to reassess her.
She said: “Obviously she was ill enough for the benefit because we had to watch her die.”
A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions said, “Our thoughts are with the family of Mrs Amos. The decision was based on evidence which included the opinion of Mrs Amos’ own GP.”