Nottingham single mother overdosed after benefits cut, family say

Nottingham single mother overdosed after benefits cut, family say

A single mother with mental health problems took a fatal overdose after failures in the benefits system, her family has claimed.

Philippa Day, from Mapperley, Nottingham, applied for a new benefit last year but saw her payments cut from £228 a week to £60.

Her family believes she took her own life over her debts and after a request for a home assessment was denied.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said it could not comment.

Miss Day, 27, died in October last year. She had been in a coma for 10 weeks after being found collapsed at home.

She had been diagnosed with emotionally unstable personality disorder, said her family.

Her sister, Imogen Day, said Philippa’s mental health had deteriorated with post-natal depression and she was unable to work.

She had been receiving disabled living allowance (DLA) payments as she had type 1 diabetes.

Those payments stopped after she made an application for a personal independence payment (PIP) in January 2019.

The correct forms were not received and her payments were reduced to a standard living allowance of £60 a week, said the family.

“In the months leading up to her death we only spoke about the PIP claim, we only spoke about the fact my sister had no money and she was unable to live a life with any kind of quality,” said Imogen.

She said the family believed Phillipa’s death was triggered when a request for a home assessment was rejected by the DWP.

Imogen said the family was arguing that the DWP “broke Article 2 of the Human Rights Act – which is a right to life”.

“They’re trying to argue they were unaware of my sister’s vulnerable circumstances, which is incorrect.

“With all her dealings with the DWP, both her psychiatric nurses and my sister were very clear that it was impacting her mental health and was making her feel more suicidal.”

Imogen added: “I would like them to overhaul the entire claimant process to protect vulnerable people.”

A DWP spokesperson said: “Our condolences are with Miss Day’s family. As the inquest process is ongoing it would be inappropriate to comment at this time.”

A pre-inquest review into the death is taking place on Friday.

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