By Tony Collins
Yesterday’s post on goodnewspeak mentioned that officials at the Department for Work and Pensions had been celebrating the rollout of Universal Credit, not obviously mindful of the problems and delays in payments and the fact that some failed claimants had been on the brink of suicide.
Now Metro has reported that a 38 year-old mother of four who had mental health problems and an eating disorder died cold and alone after her benefits were cut because she was too ill to attend an Employment Support Allowance meeting.
Elaine Morrall was found dead in her home wearing a coat and scarf, her family said. She’d had her benefits stopped because she failed to attend a meeting while in a hospital intensive care unit, they said.
Her family say wouldn’t put her heating on, because of the cost, until her children arrived home from school. The dead woman’s mother Linda Morrall blamed the Department of Work and Pensions for her death.
In an open letter on Facebook, Linda Morrall wrote: [My daughter] died on the afternoon of 2 November 2017 at home on her own … in the cold with her coat & scarf on…”
He daughter, she said, was in and out of intensive care but was “deemed not ill enough for ESA”. She had her benefits stopped numerous times, which in turn stopped her housing benefit. Being in intensive care was deemed insufficient reason for failing to attend a Universal Credit interview, said Linda Morrall.
“I went to the job centre to inform them that she couldn’t attend. But benefits stopped again.” Her daughter was due to go to court on Monday. “Is being dead now enough reason [not to attend court],” said Linda Morrall. “How many people have got to die before this government realises they are killing vulnerable people?”
A spokesperson for the DWP told Metro, ‘Our thoughts are with Ms Morrall’s family at this difficult time. We understand that people can’t always attend appointments, which is why we will re-arrange alternative times.
“Assessment decisions are made with consideration of all the information provided, including supporting evidence from a GP or medical specialist.
“Anyone who disagrees with a decision can appeal.”