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Disabled mum took fatal overdose after she was refused PIP

May 22, 2017

Politics and Insights

Susan Roberts was found dead because of a morphine overdose (Photo: Philip Coburn)

A disabled mum, Susan Roberts, was found dead at home following an overdose of morphine. Susan died just metres away from a heartbreaking 11-page letter she had written to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), detailing her suffering following being told she wasn’t eligible for Personal Independence Payment (PIP). 

Susan, a grandmother of eight, had survived four heart attacks. She died £4,000 in debt, after taking a fatal overdose within hours of being informed that her claim for PIP was unsuccessful. She had previously claimed Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and had been given an indefinite award, as her medical conditions were considered highly unlikely to get better.

The letter from the Department for Work and Pensions(Photo: Philip Coburn)

Susan was asked to apply for PIP by the DWP following the proposed closure of her DLA…

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Sarah permalink
    May 22, 2017 10:58 am

    When will May axknowledge the affects that inaccurate PIP assessments have on a disabled person’s physical and mental health. The stress that starts when the change over letter from DLA to PIP, gets worse when having to complete a lengthy questionnaire, knowing that it will affect your longterm ability to cope if given the wrong outcome. The stress gets even worse when the face to face assessment takes place, knowing that the ATOs or CAPITA assessor has been told to try and give as few points as possible, even though this means their report is fraudulent. My assessor was polite but still told huge lies about my ability to do tasks, making up large parts, cutting and pasting what are obviously stock answers that frequently contradicted each other. The wait for the brown envelop with the lies, increases the stress to breaking point when told your means of transport is gone, and that you can carry out tasks such as eating using elbow crutches or because you are able to drive a car. The stress becomes unbearable when you know that your so called limited life style has been broken apart leaving you housebound unable to cope with the everyday tasks non disabled people take for granted. You panic. Yes you can apply for Mandatory reconsideration, but the odds are stacked heavily against you, and an appeal will take months. When will they accept that people with most long term conditions do not improve their function in carrying out basic tasks? How many more lives will be lost? They are making more and more people contemplate suicide, many taking action because of the stress of PIP.

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