Thursday, August 7, 2014

Woman overdosed in 'cry for help' after benefits stopped for six months due to backlog

Annette Francis took her own life while being potentially owed hundreds of pounds in welfare payments when she died

Tragic: Annette Francis died after losing her disability benefits

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.”