Jodey Whiting had an incurable condition. Why did the DWP try to force her into a benefit reassessment?

Death by DWP: Jodey Whiting.

This is a good question – triggered in This Writer’s mind by a reference to a different case.

Please read the following Twitter thread, which was prompted by a tweet referring to the death of DWP benefit claimant Philippa Day:

Yes, why does the DWP force people with incurable or terminal conditions to prove that they still have a lifelong disability or are still dying?

Reading those words, I thought about Jodey Whiting. She had a number of disabilities, including scoliosis which – as far as I can tell – is an incurable condition that requires constant treatment for the length of the sufferer’s life. If untreated, it could be life-threatening.

So it was pointless to demand that she attend a work capability assessment, because it was impossible for her condition to have improved. It could only worsen.

There is an argument that a WCA could take place to ascertain whether a claimant’s payments should increase – but that cannot be used as justification in Ms Whiting’s case because her benefits were stopped.

The DWP’s Green Paper on Disability, released in July this year (2021), acknowledges that it is pointless to keep reassessing people with lifelong and/or terminal conditions and proposes the creation of a Severe Disability Group (SDG). People put in this group would not have to face reassessment.

If the DWP is admitting that it is unreasonable for people with lifelong conditions to face constant reassessment now, then it would also be unreasonable to suggest that they should have faced constant reassessment in February 2017, when Ms Whiting took her own life.

Strangely, this does not seem to have been considered by the High Court when it rejected an appeal for a second inquest into Ms Whiting’s death, last month (October).

I wonder why the court did not consider that the absence of necessity for the assessment that led to Ms Whiting’s benefits being cut was a material consideration in her case.

There’s now a second appeal for another inquest. Perhaps the point could be made this time around?

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4 thoughts on “Jodey Whiting had an incurable condition. Why did the DWP try to force her into a benefit reassessment?

  1. Jeffrey Davies

    Aktion t4 at its best people’s won’t listen to that old woman explaining how they put her mother to death yet this lot have learned how to follow down that same road oh it’s not us we only following orders haven’t we seen the training of these nurses who are taught how to explain how not to give the points each patient they interview it’s diabolical but they say only following orders history repeating itself but the peasants can’t or won’t believe it but just ask those who go through it oh well of to lick a few more windows has I’m one of them who can’t be fixed but far far to many have died at these demons who are in power

  2. trev

    Good point Mike. The reassessment was totally unnecessary. Who insisted on it and why? Far more of these people need to be held to account, Atos and DWP, and either prosecuted or at least sacked.

  3. Julia

    Reminded me of a video clip around the time of the Tory Party Conference, of a young man with Cerebral Palsy asking the deplorable Rees Smug why he had to be ‘re assessed’ (I believe he had had his disability benefits stopped at one point). I am no stranger to the cruelty of the DWP but it actually brought tears to me and my partner. You can imagine the sympathetic response the young man received, not….

  4. Hecuba

    Fascist tories and their underlinings the DWP are doing all they can to rid themselves of supposedly ‘non-humans.’ Meaning women and men with severe medical conditions wherein they will never be able to work but the fascist tories believe these women and men must be disposed of because they are ‘draining the fascist tories’ money tree! Yes that ‘magic money tree’ which is our public money not the fascist tories private purse!

    State sanctioned mass murder of so many women and men who are suffering from severe medical conditions is okay because we peasants continue to ignore what is happening!

    This is fascism – hiding in plain sight and still the fascist tories aren’t being held to account! It is happening ‘because there is something rotten in the state called little england!’

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