‘Sorry isn’t good enough’: Government apologises to family of disabled mum-of-nine who took her own life ‘as benefits were stopped’

Jodey Whiting, 42, died after her allowance was stopped when she missed one appointment for a health assessment which she claimed she knew nothing about as she’s been in hospital

The mother of a disabled mum-of-nine who took her own life after her benefits were stopped says “sorry isn’t good enough” after receiving an apology from the government.

Jodey Whiting’s inquest was told she committed suicide after her Employment Support Allowance was stopped for missing one appointment for a ‘health assessment’.

She later claimed that she knew nothing about the appointment as she had been in hospital at the time.

Department for Work and Pensions bosses have now apologised to her family after its staff left Jodey a voicemail – despite having been told of her death.

It has since emerged the decision to stop her benefits – which her family claims was the “trigger” behind her suicide – was overturned after her death.

MirrorOnline previously reported how the family claimed the DWP have ‘blood on their hands’.

read more here: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/sorry-isnt-good-enough-government-10647512

 

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Hartlepool man found dead on beach after sickness benefits stopped

A middle-aged Hartlepool man died after going into the sea off Horden shortly after being told his sickness benefits were being withdrawn.

But County Durham and Darlington assistant coroner Crispin Oliver said it was impossible to say whether David Metcalf had meant to enter the water.

The 54-year-old was found on the beach at Grants Houses on Tuesday, January 3, four days after being visited by police and a mental health triage practitioner at his home in Arch Court, Hartlepool.

An inquest at Crook coroner’s court heard a post-mortem showed signs of drowning and hypothermia. Mr Oliver said Mr Metcalf had been ‘a somewhat solitary individual,’ with no family and apparently just one acquaintance, a local garage owner who had alerted police after Mr Metcalf gave him his car keys and bank documents, saying he would not need them any more.

He had been examined by mental health practitioner Leighann Fishpool, whose report said: “David was signed off sick for nine years due to anxiety, stress and panic attacks. “He has recently been deemed fit for work and told he would need to go to the JobCentre to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance. “He said he was frustrated and upset and thought ‘What’s the point?’

Read more at: http://www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk/news/hartlepool-man-found-dead-on-beach-after-sickness-benefits-stopped-1-8708019

Marske woman was ‘deeply in debt’ after benefits cut before her death – inquest

Sarah Louise Wood was living on jobseeker’s allowance :: Her death was found to be drug-related

A “bubbly” young woman was found dead in her flat after suffering severe money problems following being taken off benefits.

An inquest into the death of Sarah Louise Wood heard how she had taken loans at a “phenomenal” rate of interest as her money worries piled up.

The body of Ms Wood, 30, a known drug user from Marske, was found on May 28.

In a statement read out at Teesside Coroner’s Court, her mum Janice English said she was aware her daughter had used heroin.

Ms Wood also suffered from epilepsy and bipolar disorder, and had been diagnosed with COPD at a young age.

Her mum told the hearing her daughter was “deeply in debt” and had “stopped opening her letters” because she was “sick of bad news”.

“She had been taken off her benefits and was only on jobseekers’ allowance,” Ms English added.

“She would frequently get loans where the interest rate was phenomenal. She presented as bubbly and full of fun.”

read more here: http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/marske-woman-deeply-debt-after-13455772?ref=BNTMedia&utm_medium=facebook

 

Fury over ten minute inquest into death of ‘real life Daniel Blake’

St Pancras Coroner’s Court does not hear evidence about Lawrence Bond’s work capability assessments

THE sister of a man whose death triggered protests over the government’s “fitness for work” reforms believes a coroner’s inquest has failed to answer key questions.

Lawrence Bond had seen his benefits stopped under controversial work capability assessments, which critics say are forcing people to take on jobs while they are still unwell. The 56-year-old collapsed and died in Kentish Town in January, shortly after a visit to the Jobcentre, but this back story was not considered by coroner Dr Richard Brittain.

Instead an inquest at St Pancras Coroner’s Court on Friday was completed in little more than 10 minutes with “paper-only” evidence and nobody on the witness stand. The case had led comparisons with Ken Loach’s award-winning film I, Daniel Blake, and the movie director was among protesters who joined a vigil outside the Jobcentre in Kentish Town in the days following Mr Bond’s death. Frances Coombes, Mr Bond’s sister, who did not attend the hearing, said yesterday (Wednesday): “What we would still like to know is, how can someone who had so many different things wrong with them, be classed as fit for work? What does that say about the system? Is it fit for purpose?”

She added: “I and my sister started to get seriously worried last year that Lawrence did not seem to be getting any help or understanding from the professionals he came in contact with.” Campaigners at the inquest said representatives from the Department for Work and Pensions and Maximus – the company that assessed Mr Bond – should have been called to give evidence.

read more here: http://camdennewjournal.com/article/fury-over-ten-minute-inquest-into-death-of-real-life-daniel-blake

 

Heartbroken mother of mum who took own life: ‘The DWP has blood on their hands over my Jodey’

Family fury after mum-of-nine Jodey Whiting is ruled to have taken her own life after inquest hears how she had her benefits stopped

……………..”The 42-year-old’s inquest heard Jodey took her own life after her benefits were stopped because she missed a health review – despite never seeing the appointment letter.

Plagued by ill health, including a brain cyst and a curved spine, she could barely make it through her Stockton home’s front door.

And days after her body was found near a suicide note, her family received another DWP letter confirming the benefit cut – despite Joy already telling staff she had died.

“I blame the DWP for her death,” said grieving Joy. “The DWP has blood on their hands over my Jodey.”

read more here: http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/heartbroken-mother-mum-who-took-13092932#ICID=sharebar_facebook

 

Mother of ‘fit for work’ victim calls for ministers to face criminal charges

The mother of a disabled man who starved to death after he was found “fit for work” and lost his out-of-work disability benefits has called for ministers to face criminal charges.

Jill Gant says work and pensions ministers should be tried for misconduct in public office for failing to take action that could have saved the life of her son, Mark Wood.

read more here: http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/mother-of-fit-for-work-victim-calls-for-ministers-to-face-criminal-charges/

‘Degrading and cruel’ – claimants view of the benefit system

In a series of special reports, Granada Reports looks at the current benefits system.

James Harrison died after Job Centre staff wrote to his GP telling them not to issue him any more sick notes.

He was a Community Centre manager in Liverpool for 35 years but his health deteriorated when he was made redundant. He was declared ‘fit for work’ after a Work Capability Assessment, something his doctor disagreed with, even though he had a serious lung condition and depression.

He died of heart failure still waiting for a second medical assessment to prove he was ill. His daughter Abbie said he was forced to use a food bank and was made to feel ‘degraded and ashamed’

The film director Ken Loach has made a film to show the harsh reality of applying for benefits in his film “I Daniel Blake’.

In April, the government plan to cut the new Employment Support Allowance (ESA) for ill or disabled claimants who are judged to be able to work in the future.The allowance will be reduced by a third to £73.10 per week, the same as Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) and is designed to give an incentive to disabled people to find work.

Ken Loach says the most vulnerable are being targeted by the new ‘benefit reform’. His film “I Daniel Blake’ follows two benefits claimants plunged into poverty, its distributor is Entertainment One UK.

This week on Granada Reports we will be taking to claimants who’ve had their benefits cut, the charities trying to support them and those forced to go to court to prove they are ill

read more: http://www.itv.com/news/granada/update/2017-02-06/degrading-and-cruel-the-harsh-reality-of-the-benefit-system/