A woman who founded a charity to help people suffering with chronic pain committed suicide after a battle to claim disability benefits ended with the DWP demanding that she repay £4000 in backdated payments.
Julia Kelly was just 39 when she took ker own life at the end of last year. In an inquest into her death the Northampton Chronicle reported that the coronor believed the “upset caused by the potential withdrawal of her benefits had been the trigger for her to end her life.”
According to a statement made by her father at the inquest, Ms Kelly had attended three tribunals in her attempts to gain disability benefits. Mr Kelly said he “firmly believed” correspondance from the DWP triggered her death adding:
“Not to be believed by the DWP that she was suffering chronic back pain and also to be accused of wrongdoing and be told her payments might be stopped – we believe she snapped and could not take it any more.”
Despite this the DWP made a nasty statement which attempts to suggest she had thousands of pounds and was therefore not eligible for out of work disability benefits. According to a spokesperson for the department “If a claimant exceeds the threshold with thousands of pounds in savings, they may no longer be entitled to the benefit.” It would not take three tribunals to establish how much someone had in savings. There is far more to this than the DWP are suggesting.
The news of the inquest into her death comes on the same day that Iain Duncan Smith said that stopping people’s benefit is ‘compassionate’.
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