DWP told woman she was not ill enough for benefit on day she died

Dawn Amos [Image: cascadenews.co.uk].

A woman who suffered from a debilitating lung condition was sent a letter informing her she no longer qualified for sickness benefits on the day she died.

Dawn Amos, 67, from Essex, died in November after suffering chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which left her struggling to breathe.

Her illness left her unable to walk far or do daily tasks independently. She had received attendance allowance from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to help with the cost of her personal care.

The DWP reviewed her claim based on her treatment, medication, test results and symptoms, and wrote to inform her that she was not ill enough to receive the weekly benefit, which amounted to £55.10 or £82.30 – depending on how often care was needed in a 24-hour period.

The DWP said the decision had been made using the information from her claim form and from her doctor about six months earlier. The letter said: “I consider this information to be the most suitable available and enough to decide how much help you need.”

The DWP wrote its letter on the day Amos’s husband agreed that doctors should turn off her life support machine at Broomfield hospital in Chelmsford.

Source: DWP told woman she was not ill enough for benefit on day she died | Society | The Guardian

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11 thoughts on “DWP told woman she was not ill enough for benefit on day she died

  1. John

    Please correct me if I’m missing some small detail, but I actually read about this one the other day in the Mirror (I think?), and it’s probably about the only time I’m about to defend (in a sense) the DWP on this one. The article (especially the title) makes it sound like the DWP deliberately or otherwise informed the woman about the decision on the day they KNEW she was going to die….. but of course, from what I read, obviously they couldn’t possibly of known that she was going to lose her life on that day. I don’t think this is the first time that a newspaper has done this, by wording the title in such a way, as to insinuate something that doesn’t appear to be correct.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      You are mistaken.
      If the letter informing her that she wasn’t getting benefit any more arrived on the day she died, then it is right to say the DWP told the woman she was not ill enough for benefits on the day she died.
      You seem to have made an assumption that the DWP knew she was going to die. The evidence suggests otherwise. The issue is that the DWP was trying to say she was not ill, whereas in fact she was at death’s door. Therefore the DWP’s assessment procedure is completely useless – except as a political tool to push people off benefit when they need it.

  2. Rupert Mitchell (@rupert_rrl)

    These travesties of decency and justice do need to be blown sky high and what on earth is the use of the “EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND JUSTICE” if it does not thoroughly take these matters up without procrastinating and actually serve a useful purpose?

    1. John

      I’m not a criminal law expert, but I believe there is a charge called ‘corporate manslaughter’? and if the DWP was a ‘normal’ business, they would have been hung out to dry ages ago. Far as I’m concerned, I want to see IDS and all appropriate other bosses and staff within the DWP tried in a criminal court and sent to prison. I just wonder how much longer we are going to have to hear about these travesties.

  3. eric saul

    this just shows how out of touch dwp really is. this man smith just has to go everything he has done he has screwed up ,condolences to the family of the lady concerned i hope there is some action over this

    1. Brian

      “this just shows how out of touch dwp really is”

      No, they are not out of touch, the DWP know what is going on, they know the consequences of their policies, they know they have caused death, and are still causing death. This is a political crime for which the government and individuals must ultimately be held responsible. The evidence is stacking up against them, it just requires recognition and action. Sadley, many more deaths will be caused before those responsible are held to account, and when they are, no doubt many will applaud their demise. There will also be those that remain in denial, the fools that support and voted them in.

  4. Richard Samwell

    Sadly, I am no longer surprised to read of this sort of behaviour from the DWP!. Ian Duncan Smith should, in reality be holding his head in Shame over ‘His’ Departments Behaviour but I bet he isn’t!!. Instead He’ll be ‘Lost in his 11% Pay rise while his “Clientel” Worry like Hell over how they’re going to Pay their bills.

    Ever since “PIP” was introduced along with the ‘Bedroom’ Tax, Ordinary People like us have been left to suffer while this present government gets on with its so called ‘Grand Plan’. Those who were on ‘DLA’ before and were receiving the Higher amount for Mobility and qualified for a Car now under the Present ‘Regime’ Don’t. I am a COPD Sufferer my self although, Fortunately, not as Dawn was, but, There is No Cure for COPD although it can be controlled to a ‘Certain’ degree. It appears to me that the Disabled folk are being made to suffer along with the rest of Us ‘Ordinary’ Folk!!.

    Our Heartfelt Condolences go out to Dawn’s Family.

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