DWP told woman she was not ill enough for benefit on day she died. Dawn Amos received the letter about attendance allowance on day her husband agreed to switch off her life support machine.
The woman suffered from a debilitating lung condition, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which left her struggling to breathe, which 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 was sent a letter informing her she no longer qualified for sickness benefits. The DWP had 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.
Dawn’s daughter, Karina Mann, said her mother had received attendance allowance for six months before the DWP asked to reassess her. “Obviously she was ill enough for the benefit because we had to watch her die,” she said.