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Annette Francis Overdosed In ‘Cry For Help’ Because Of PIP Backlog

August 8, 2014

Is Annette Francis the first known person to die as a result of the PIP backlog?

Readers, we must share her story as widely as we can. No one else can die for this reason.

A woman overdosed in a ‘cry for help’ after a Government backlog saw her deprived of benefits for six months, an inquest heard.

Annette Francis, 30, struggled to survive on the bread line and was potentially owed hundreds of pounds in welfare payments when she died.

She filed for disability living allowance (DLA) last September only to be told by the Department for Work and Pensions that benefit had been overhauled and was now called PIP – Personal Independence Payment.

Promises were made to pay Annette, but the money never arrived.

Eleanor, who suffered from depression and had a personality disorder, took the overdose while publishing on Facebook about how miserable she was, in a ‘cry for help’, a coroner ruled.

Her aunt, Ann Sorotos, 61, said: “Annette was really struggling. She was asking the job centre what the hold up was, but they kept talking of a backlog.

“I hate this Government and what they are doing to this country. I hate they’ve done to my niece. They are partly to blame.

“We don’t want this to happen to other people. Let’s hope Annette is the last person to die in this situation.

“People with mental health issues should be made a priority by the Department for Work and Pensions. They can’t cope with daily life let alone pages after page of forms.

“Annette was begging for help. There needs to be better communication from this Government to help people in need. Not just one letter and then telling us there’s a backlog.

“That’s not good enough.”

The inquest heard police were contacted by a friend of Annette’s on May 22 after she sent him text messages which caused him concern.

Coroner Andre Rebello said: “Clearly Annette was making no secret as to what she was doing.

“I think it is more likely than not that she has taken this medication because of problems she lived with and her taking the medication was some way of perhaps exaggerating her pain and internal suffering to try and communicate that to others with regard to being some, clearly inappropriate, but some cry for help.”

But the DWP said it was the applicant’s responsibility to make a claim and money could not be backdated.

Annette, who was receiving Employment Support Allowance payments, was found in her bedsit in Garston, Liverpool, in May.

Her MP, Maria Eagle said: “The DWP should get their act together on PIP as soon as possible because frequently people like Annette are in no position to look after their own interests as well as those in good health may be able to.”

A DWP spokesman said: “We are committed to getting PIP claims processed as quickly as possible.”

16 Comments leave one →
  1. August 8, 2014 12:35 am

    Yesterday, I requested sight of the Coroner’s report in the Annette Francis case, and asked the Coroner, Andre Rebello, whether he considered her wait of six months for disability benefits a contributing factor in her death. I’m awaiting his response.

  2. August 8, 2014 12:49 am

    Reblogged this on glynismillward189 and commented:
    Heatbreaking …

  3. August 8, 2014 3:32 am

    Reblogged this on stewilko's Blog and commented:
    Eleanor, who suffered from depression and had a personality disorder, took the overdose while publishing on Facebook about how miserable she was, in a ‘cry for help’, a coroner ruled.

    Her aunt, Ann Sorotos, 61, said: “Annette was really struggling. She was asking the job centre what the hold up was, but they kept talking of a backlog.

    “I hate this Government and what they are doing to this country. I hate they’ve done to my niece. They are partly to blame.

    “We don’t want this to happen to other people. Let’s hope Annette is the last person to die in this situation.

    “People with mental health issues should be made a priority by the Department for Work and Pensions. They can’t cope with daily life let alone pages after page of forms.

    “Annette was begging for help. There needs to be better communication from this Government to help people in need. Not just one letter and then telling us there’s a backlog.

    “That’s not good enough.”
    Says it all

  4. August 8, 2014 6:43 am

    Reblogged this on lawrencerowntree.

  5. August 8, 2014 6:51 am

    Reblogged this on sdbast.

  6. August 8, 2014 10:12 am

    An appalling story but I am distracted and confused by mention of ‘Eleanor’ – should that be ‘Annette’?

    • August 8, 2014 11:51 am

      Yeah, I’m not sure where “Eleanor” came from, nor the DWP line “But the DWP said it was the applicant’s responsibility to make a claim and money could not be backdated”

      As the text leads one to believe that a claim had been made, and was stuck in the farcical IDS inspired “improvements” by the introduction of PIP when the already capable, and proven, DLA existed.

      PIP is like everything that IDS has touched, a complete F***up from start to finish… but his unerring “belief” that all is on time, working, and on budget is all that matters.

  7. john permalink
    August 8, 2014 11:27 am

    i have got my letter from atossers . it states – u will -will be seen in 16 weeks.phoned up only to be told now its another 26 weeks on top of the 16.. i said u cant do this atossers said—-we can do anything we want u may have to wait more than 40 weeks its up too us who gets the appointments —b-stards.

  8. August 8, 2014 1:36 pm

    A terrible story….the ‘System’ is in huge trouble!!

  9. August 8, 2014 3:55 pm

    Reblogged this on Glasgow Anarchist Federation and commented:
    Institutionalised murder.

  10. August 8, 2014 8:36 pm

    Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.

  11. August 12, 2014 1:20 am

    Reblogged this on Benefit tales.

  12. March 15, 2016 4:40 pm

    My nephew also died when his DLA was stopped. He was still at university and was in receipt of DLA because he had bipolar. As a ‘survivor’ of child abuse his bipolar was probably retriggered in the summer of 2012 his stepfather being denied DLA after his third heart bypass and then exacerbated by the memories triggered by the press furore when Saville died.
    At some point shortly before his death his mother had exposed this abuse to his friends who then began to bully him, online. He was unable top continue with his course of study because of his bipolar but was then sent a compliance letter because an error by the Student Loans company meant he was overpaid for a course he was not attending. Rather than face the bullying and possible removal of his DLA he locked himself in hi stepfather’s car 10 days after Christmas. He was 21 and died depressed and terrified.

Trackbacks

  1. Annette Francis Overdosed In ‘Cry For Help’ Because Of PIP Backlog | Vox Political
  2. British disabled mother’s suicide because of government poverty policies | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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