The Mail [now don’t faint but this is what they wrote]
- Jodey Whiting from County Durham, received benefits for varying health issues
- She missed a health review after not seeing her appointment letter
- This led to her Employment Support Allowance being cut and she died days later
- Her family are demanding an apology and blame the DWP for ‘triggering’ her death
Tragic: Beloved mother, Jodey Whiting, 42, died after her benefits were stopped
A mother has said the Department of Work and Pensions have ‘blood on their hands’ after her daughter took her own life when her payouts were stopped.
Jodey Whiting, 42, received a disability allowance for varying mental and physical health problems she suffered during her life, including a brain cyst and a curved spine.
But when the mother-of-nine from Stockton, County Durham, missed a health review after not seeing an appointment letter, her payments were stopped.
She was found dead days later next to a suicide note.
Now her mother, Joy Dove, has blamed the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for her death and is demanding an apology.
Teesside Coroner’s Court heard Ms Whiting, a shop assistant, was forced to retire young due to the chronic pain from her illnesses, which left her taking 23 tablets a day – including morphine.
Ms Whiting regularly went to her GP’s surgery in the months before her death and event went to hospital.
Yet despite battling back problems since birth, the DWP ended her claims for Employment Support Allowance after she missed the appointment.
The court heard she had overdosed before but the ‘extreme stress’ inflicted by the DWP pushed Ms Whiting over the edge.
Heartbroken Ms Dove, 63, said: ‘This was the last straw – she didn’t know where to go.
I blame the DWP for her death. The DWP has blood on their hands over my Jodey.’
The inquest heard Ms Whiting would use any money left over from her benefits to ‘treat’ her kids.
‘She had two sets of twins and loved all of her children so much,’ added Ms Dove. ‘We will never get over this.’
The inquest heard Ms Whiting would use any money left over from her benefits to ‘treat’ her kids. Pictured are her family at her funeral
A formal complaint has been lodged with the DWP from Joy over the ‘significant stress’ she said the department caused her following Jodey’s death
As she fought back tears at the inquest, one of her daughters, Emma, said: ‘She was the best mum ever. They [the DWP] are in the wrong and through their choice we have lost our best friend.’
A formal complaint has been lodged with the DWP from Joy over the ‘significant stress’ she said the department caused her following Jodey’s death.
A spokesman for the department said: ‘Our thoughts are with Miss Whiting’s family at this difficult time.
‘Suicide is a very complex issue. Jobcentre Plus is currently investigating a complaint from the family and will respond back shortly.’
Last year, an inquest heard that David Brown, 18, took his own life ‘under immense pressure’ from Job Centre staff.
- For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see http://www.samaritans.org for details.