An English woman who was so sick with COPD that she couldn't walk 40 feet without needing a break was told she wasn't ill enough to continue receiving a government benefit—on the day she died. Dawn Amos, 67, had been receiving an "attendance allowance" from the Department of Work and Pensions for about six months before her death, her daughter tells the Guardian. The benefit ranged from about $80 to $120 per week to help with her personal care; her husband and daughter say she couldn't complete tasks independently, couldn't leave the house, and often had difficulty breathing. In November, her husband Mick found Dawn struggling to breathe; he called an ambulance, and by the time he got off the phone, she had collapsed.
That day, he and the couple's daughter agreed that doctors should remove her life support, the Essex Gazette reports; two days after her death, he found the letter from DWP, which had been sent on the day she died. As her daughter explains, Dawn's attendance allowance claim was up for renewal, and upon reassessing her claim, the DWP found her benefits should be withdrawn based on information it reviewed regarding her treatment, medication, symptoms, and test results. Dawn's husband calls the letter "disgusting and heartbreaking," and her daughter adds, "Obviously she was ill enough for the benefit because we had to watch her die." But a DWP rep says the decision "was based on evidence which included the opinion of Mrs Amos’ own GP."