Tag Archives: Joy Dove

New evidence fuels demand for inquest uncovering DWP role in the death of Jodey Whiting

Jodey Whiting, 42, took her own life after her benefits were stopped.

Remember Jodey Whiting?

She’s the woman who took her own life after the Department for Work and Pensions ignored its own policies for safeguarding benefit claimants no fewer than five times while dealing with her case.

The DWP scorned calls for an independent inquiry into deaths related to its decisions, prompted by Ms Whiting’s death – even after tens of thousands of people signed a petition demanding it.

Now her mother, Joy Dove, has launched a demand for a new inquest, saying the interests of justice demand it after new evidence emerged.

This includes the result of an investigation into the handling of Ms Whiting’s benefits by the DWP and a report from an independent consultant psychiatrist who concluded that the DWP’s failings would probably have had a substantial effect on her mental state.

In her letter to the Attorney General, Ms Dove argued that the manner in which her daughter was treated by the DWP, and in particular the withdrawal of her ESA, caused or materially contributed to her death and, that had this not occurred, her daughter’s death might have been prevented.

Ms Whiting, of Stockton, died on 21 February 2017, aged 42. She was a vulnerable woman with multiple physical and mental health illnesses which left her house-bound, requiring 23 tablets per day and entirely reliant on welfare benefits.

In late 2016 the DWP began to reassess her entitlement to Employment Support Allowance (ESA).

She requested a home visit as she rarely left the house due to her health and she made clear that she had “suicidal thoughts a lot of the time and could not cope with work or looking for work”.

Despite this, the DWP decided that she should attend a work capability assessment. She failed to attend so the DWP stopped her fortnightly ESA payments.

With help from her family, Ms Whiting wrote to the DWP explaining the severity of her health conditions and asking for a reconsideration, but this did not happen until after her death.

She also received letters informing her that her housing benefit and council tax benefit would be stopped because they were linked to her ESA.

Just three days after her last ESA payment, Ms Whiting took her own life.

An inquest was held, lasting less than an hour, in which the coroner declined to consider the potential role of the DWP in the death. Ms Whiting’s family were unrepresented and were unaware that they may have been entitled to publicly-funded legal representation.

After the inquest a report by an Independent Case Examiner concluded that the DWP had made multiple significant errors in how it treated Ms Whiting. Some of the failings had not been known to her family, who were horrified to learn how many failings had occurred in the handling of her benefits.

This could be a hugely important case.

Who knows how many other people are now dead who might have lived if the DWP had handled their cases with an ounce of sensitivity?

We may soon find out – but only if the Attorney General grants permission for a new inquest to take place.

Source: Family Of Jodey Whiting Seek Fresh Inquest Into Her Death | Leigh Day

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A man left a note blaming the DWP for his suicide – and it is STILL trying to evade responsibility

If delegates at the Labour conference thought Jodey Whiting was a solitary case of DWP negligence leading to death, they should consider that of Ayman Habayeb.

Ms Whiting’s mother, Joy Dove, told delegates at a Labour conference fringe meeting how the Department for Work and Pensions ignored its own safeguarding procedures on five separate occasions before her daughter committed suicide.

And the DWP destroyed a document detailing similar failures on only 18 other Job Centres, after a Freedom of Information request was submitted, demanding its release.

Now we learn of Mr Habayeb, a 28-year-old man who was diagnosed with autism and depression, who took his own life after the DWP cut his benefits and he became unable to afford food.

A detailed suicide note was discovered on his computer by his grieving parents.

It described how he was ordered to attend a “work capability assessment” and refused.

He wrote: “I attended one before. The outcome was they reduced my benefits and completely ignored my needs.

“Such assessments are obviously not meant to help the disabled stay on benefits but to instead save the government money.

“I cannot be bothered to fight this any more. I am out of energy. I only exist to do what I want to do. Dealing with paperwork, making phone calls, and feeling anxious every day about whether I am going to be homeless are things I do not want to do.”

That note was written in summer 2018, and in November he hanged himself in his Milton Keynes flat.

So why are you only reading about it now? Because his body was only found last month, nine months later, when housing association officials called – to evict him.

Despite the fact that Mr Habayeb had named the DWP in his suicide note, a spokesman for that department of the Conservative government still tried to deny that it bore any responsibility for the tragedy – by hiding behind the fact that an inquest had yet to take place.

And he fell back on an old standby argument that the DWP has been using for several years now.

He said: “Suicide is a very complex issue and while the inquest examines this tragic case, it wouldn’t be right to draw conclusions.”

Going back to Ms Dove: she started a petition for an independent inquiry into DWP-related deaths. The government has refused – point-blank – to hold one, in spite of all the evidence that its civil servants have caused many deaths – more than 100,000 are known.

If we must wait until after an inquest to draw conclusions about Mr Habayeb’s death, isn’t it only fair that we should hold that independent inquiry – to be able to draw conclusions about all the others as well? Or do the Tories already know what it would say?

Source: Autistic Milton Keynes man left suicide note on computer explaining tragic reasons he took his own life – Milton Keynes Citizen

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This ‘fit for work’ death story SHOULD move you to tears – because it’s years old and nothing has changed

Jodey Whiting, 42, took her own life after her benefits were stopped.

The story of how the death of Jodey Whiting while the DWP insisted she was ‘fit for work’ stunned delegates at the Labour Conference moved This Writer – but not in the way the author of the Mirror piece quoted below might think.

Jodey Whiting took her own life – in what we must consider to be despair at the DWP’s refusal to acknowledge the illnesses that made her eligible for state benefits.

She had missed a work capability assessment because she had been in hospital undergoing treatment for a brain cyst – and pneumonia.

She had been taking 23 tablets a day, and morphine twice daily, for conditions including scoliosis and bipolar disorder.

The DWP’s decision-maker refused to reschedule the assessment and found Ms Whiting ‘fit for work’ instead. The DWP then rubber-stamped a refusal of her request for mandatory reconsideration.

She contacted Citizens’ Advice – and an attempt to secure a new work capability assessment was put in motion – but Ms Whiting took her own life days later.

That was in February 2017.

She was not the first to suffer this mistreatment from the Conservative-run government – nor has she been the last.

This Site has written about Ms Whiting many times – and about the others.

I spent two years fighting for the DWP to publish figures on the number of people who had died after being found ‘fit for work’. All the Tories stumped up in the end were those who had died within two weeks of the ruling and there were still more than 2,000 of them between 2011 and 2015.

Of course, most of the deaths happen after that two-week period has elapsed.

Ms Whiting’s death occurred after the Tory-run DWP failed to follow its own safeguarding guidelines no fewer than five times.

The DWP also destroyed a report on other safeguarding failures – in only 18 London job centres – rather than allow it to become public after a Freedom of Information request was submitted for its release.

The government has rejected the demands of the ‘Justice for Jodey Whiting’ petition, that has attracted nearly 56,000 signatures.

It called for an independent inquiry into deaths linked to the DWP.

That’s all. It’s not much to ask – an independent investigation to find out why so many people have died when the government said they should be alive and working.

But it was too much for the Tories, it seems.

And people at the Labour conference were “stunned” and “moved” because they didn’t know?

Why didn’t they know? 

Did you know?

If you have been reading This Site for any length of time, you should.

But then – as Jeremy Corbyn has noted only today – the Establishment closes ranks to ensure that some stories don’t get the oxygen of publicity.

It’s very easy. Those of us who rely on social media platforms for our readership may expect to be deprived of those platforms when we deliver a message their rich owners don’t like.

And somebody else dies.

And the Establishment closes ranks.

And somebody else dies.

And on it goes.

And at another event, hundreds of people will be shocked to discover that somebody else has died after being found “fit for work” by the DWP.

Just like they were at this one…

Joy Dove, mother of Jodey [Whiting], stunned and moved delegates … as she told [a] Labour conference event: “A letter arrived saying she was fit to work. She was at the undertakers”

Joy … made the six-hour journey from her home 315 miles away in Darlington, to tell people about the shameful way her daughter Jodey was treated before her death.

Jodey, 45, was a mum and grandmother who took her own life in February 2017 after being declared fit for work – despite battling serious physical and mental health conditions.

The harassment continued even after she died – with another letter reminding her she was fit for work arriving as her family struggled to come to terms with her death.

Today her mum, Joy, 65, moved delegates to tears as she shared treasured snaps of Jodey as a child and as a smiling young mum – before revealing a final, tragic photograph of her well-kept grave, surrounded by colourful flowers and tributes.

“Now I get people in-boxing me to tell me how much they’re suffering. I’ve just heard from the mam of a 21-year-old lad in the same position and his mother doesn’t know where to turn.

“So I do it for them and to get Justice for Jodey and I won’t stop.”

Ms Dove won’t stop, and neither will I.

But we won’t get anywhere if everybody’s too busy being hypnotised by the BBC to care what’s really happening.

You can change that, just by talking about it. But will you?

Source: Brave mum moves Labour audience to tears over her daughter’s fit-for-work death – Mirror Online

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DWP response to Jodey Whiting petition is a ‘joke’ according to her mother

Jodey Whiting, 42, took her own life after her benefits were stopped [Image: Evening Gazette].

Remember when I said I wasn’t the best person to provide a commentary on the DWP’s response to the ‘Justice for Jodey Whiting’ petition?

Disability News Service has found someone much better: Her mother.

The petition demands an independent inquiry into deaths linked to the DWP, after the department ignored its own safeguarding policies no less than five times in the weeks leading up to her suicide in February 2017.

I poured scorn on the DWP’s response to the petition – which had earned more than 27,000 signatures at the time.

According to DNS, Joy Dove – Ms Whiting’s mother – said the DWP response to the petition was “a joke”, and that her message to DWP was: “You have put everything in your response to the petition that you did not do to safeguard Jodey.

“You killed my daughter by not safeguarding her.”

She added: “They should have practised what they are trying to preach now. They are responsible for Jodey’s death.”

She said she was appalled that the DWP response suggested that the £10,000 ICE ordered DWP to pay the family as a “consolatory payment” was “compensation” for her daughter’s death.

Dove said that £9,000 was given to Jodey’s nine children, while the other £1,000 was used to pay off some of the debts she had built up in paying for her daughter’s funeral.

She said: “It’s not about money. I will carry on. They can’t say it’s settled. I signed nothing. I want justice.”

Ms Dove has said she wants to take legal action against the DWP. I would like to see the department taken to court for all the deaths it caused.

Wouldn’t you like that too?

Source: Justice for Jodey Whiting: Mum brands DWP’s petition response ‘a joke’


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