The mother of disabled claimant Jodey Whiting, who took her own life after her benefits were wrongly stopped, has won the right to ask the High Court to order a new inquest into her death.
Jodey died in February 2017. Her ESA had been stopped after she failed to attend a work capability assessment.
Jodey had been seriously ill with pneumonia, had been receiving treatment for a cyst on the brain and was taking strong painkillers. Nonetheless, she had been refused a home assessment for her ESA and failed to open the appointment letter for a WCA at an assessment centre.
As a result, her benefits were stopped.
An inquest into Jodey’s death lasted less than an hour and failed to even look at the part the DWP played in the tragedy
Yet the Independent Case Examiner later found that the DWP failed five times to follow its own safeguarding procedures.
Jodey’s mother, Joy Dove, has been fighting for an independent inquiry into her daughter’s death and the DWP’s failure to follow its safeguarding rules.
Last year Joy launched a petition calling for just such an inquiry and many thousands of Benefits and Work readers signed it.
However, the governments response was dismissive, refusing to even consider an inquiry into claimants deaths.
This latest legal move means there is a chance that a new inquest will be held which fully consider the role of the DWP in Jodey’s tragic death. As a result, the DWP may be obliged to admit its failings and further deaths may be avoided.