Heartbreaking. Grandmother commits suicide due to bedroom tax.

(211 Posts)
Darkesteyes Sat 11-May-13 22:33:22

This is heart rending. She left a note before heading to the moterway.

www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/bedroom-tax-victim-commits-suicide-1883600#.UY6lhlQGgMY.twitter

FasterStronger Tue 14-May-13 07:53:48

I agree cory but she killed herself before her family were able to act on their worries for her MH. may be this is due to underfunding in the NHS.

but on the other side I have seen two family members diagnosed with depression & prescribed powerful drugs from one appointment after loved ones have died when many people would have considered it normal grief.

I don't want normal life diagnosed as an illness any more than I want people not to get the help they need. I don't think medical diagnosis is a perfect science and cannot happen immediately.

cory Mon 13-May-13 20:07:48

I would have thought her disability was highly relevant to whether she felt she could cope away from her usual support net.

I don't think people who have not dealt with disability on a day to day basis understand how difficult it makes little every day things, how much you come to depend on other people and on transport you can actually use.

stubbornstains Mon 13-May-13 20:07:36

Some of the comments on this thread have been unbelievably vile.

The people worst affected by the bedroom tax are the most vulnerable- those who have absolutely no way of getting out of their fix, and are at the end of their rope. Single mums who have struggled along with no support doing minimum wage jobs, only to face a final kick in the teeth when their kids grow up and they could expect to see things getting slightly better. The sick and disabled. People for whom there is no easier way out.

Of course the lady in question had underlying issues that made her more vulnerable- if she was well, resilient, with oodles of transferable employment skills and in an area of high employment, she wouldn't have been in that fix in the first place.

And if you're vulnerable, my God, the terror of having your only tiny bit of stability ripped away by the benefit cuts is beyond any doubt enough to push you over the edge.

I'm a single mum on benefits and, even though I'm well educated, healthy and resourceful, and even though I appear to be slowly, painfully clawing my way out of this pit, any time one of the Housing Benefit letters with the green stripy edging drops through the letterbox, my heart starts pounding and I'm in utter panic. God knows what clerical error they could have made which would mean we could lose the roof over our heads. I've spent so many sleepless nights worrying if my business will be making the required amount of money before UC kicks in.

I can completely understand why people are feeling that their only option is suicide.

PeneloPeePitstop Mon 13-May-13 19:51:50

Oh but they won't, morethan. Not whilst there are apologists out there as they are through this thread.

I think people forget just how pointless it is to move house to somewhere that really isn't suitable and just how low that can make you.

Last July I moved from an unsuitable flat with reasonable transport options to an unsuitable house with no public transport options for me, I can't afford taxis everywhere and I don't drive, this place feels like a prison.

I can completely understand why this woman could have done this with not many other reasons.

My heart goes out to her family though. sad

morethanpotatoprints Mon 13-May-13 19:27:16

Poor woman, my heart goes out to her family.
This government will have so much to answer for when all the cuts and changes to welfare actually come in. sad

snowballinashoebox Mon 13-May-13 19:22:13

so therefore her disability is relevant, claimed or not.

snowballinashoebox Mon 13-May-13 19:21:13

I think if you were to do a very quick google of her condition you would soon see why it all became too much for her to cope with.

PeneloPeePitstop Mon 13-May-13 19:19:24

Fancy swapping?

MrsSalvoMontalbano Mon 13-May-13 19:17:48

But the disability was not relevant in this case - it was not that she was claiming disability benefits that were stopped - disingenuous to hijack it on that basis. Like most of people, she did not want to move house. Unlike most peple, sadly she also had a mental disposition that led to her choosing to commit suicide. She did not want her kids to feel guilty (tho' did not care who else was affected - lorry driver et al), so blamed 'the government' - easy target. And Jack Dromey - lifelong handbag to his wife, who secured him a safe seat, and undistinguished in any other way, jumped at the chance of a cheap headline.

PeneloPeePitstop Mon 13-May-13 19:04:58

The disability lobby is relevant here. This person, this human being was disabled.

PeneloPeePitstop Mon 13-May-13 19:03:49

Oh do one.

Cherriesarered Mon 13-May-13 19:00:42

There are many people who do not claim disability benefits even though they should. Had she called Solihull Council and asked for help she would have got a lot of help in many ways. They are a really good council! It sounds to me like she was a proud person that didn't ask for help! Housing would have offered her a smaller house as all councils are having to do. The problem in Solihull is there certain areas where some people do not wish to go and it is unfair to expect people who have lived in a property to move (likewise, unaffordable to not ask them to move) no easy solutions at all! Poor woman :-(

OwlLady Mon 13-May-13 18:49:16

hey mrssalvo! head of children's services in my county

KittensandKids Mon 13-May-13 18:46:19

Meh meh meh meh meh meh meh.... same crap always!

Lets just hope some people lives never take a change for the worse, or maybe that would be a good thing.

MrsSalvoMontalbano Mon 13-May-13 18:42:16

Every thread about benefits always gets hijacked by the disability lobby trying to top-trump each other over the treatment they have received by the evil government. Not everyone in receipt of benefits is disabled, and your anecdote, however oft repeated does not apply to all benefit claimants.

Darkesteyes Mon 13-May-13 18:37:48

Its NEVER been easy My DH was turned down for DLA in 1995 . He wasnt really well enough to work but had to work part time in a supermarket because the job i had in a sex chatline office wasnt paid enough to pay for rent council tax etc and ALL HIS PRESCRIPTIONS. He had a massive heart attack in 2006 and didnt get his full entitement until late 2008 two and a half years later.

OwlLady Mon 13-May-13 18:27:59

My late sister was chronically ill when I growing up, she was born in 1980. My Mum said there was little you could claim or what was available to claim then.

cory Mon 13-May-13 18:22:03

Agree with Wuldric about pushy patients.

When dd first became obviously disabled, I believed anything I was told: so when HT said I must not refer to her as disabled, I accepted that, when the LEA said there was no help for her, I just took it for granted that they were right. It was only with the help of MN that I began to learn about how to access support. Also, I became exhausted and started weighing the energy that went into making claims against the need for energy to look after dd.

PeneloPeePitstop Mon 13-May-13 18:21:35

That's nothing. The Mirror interviewed me at length regarding Universal Credit then produced an inch square 'article' that got all the facts wrong.

At least Polly Toynbee did a decent job.

PeneloPeePitstop Mon 13-May-13 18:20:02

No, but there was more stigma then.

cory Mon 13-May-13 18:19:43

That is a point, Faster. Though it's a fair old while since it was easy if it ever was, certainly wasn't easy when I tried for dd under the last government either.

Anyway, I still think we need to know more: the strange wording of the journalist makes the whole situation difficult to understand and makes me suspect they haven't really understood it either.

FasterStronger Mon 13-May-13 18:14:59

cory - I would agree with you if she was recently disabled - but she was life long.

and it has not always been as hard as it is now.

cory Mon 13-May-13 18:10:45

FasterStronger Mon 13-May-13 17:51:36
"I don think anyone is saying she was not disabled, but she did not access help for her disability/MH problems."

Do we know that she had never tried to access help?

The Mirror's wording is totally unhelpful:

"Doctors had told her she was too ill to hold down a job, but she had never been registered as disabled, so she lived without disability benefit."

As explained earlier on the thread, you cannot be registered as disabled, there is no such register, so there is something wrong with the Mirror's statement here.

What you can do is apply for DLA. The forms are very difficult to fill in and many, many people who apply are turned down. This is no proof either that you are not disabled or that you have not tried in every way you could to get help. Speaking from bitter experience here.

What the Mirror claim happened cannot be the case, so something else must be the case instead and we don't know what that is.

Wuldric Mon 13-May-13 18:04:06

She may not have been entitled to any help in terms of additional benefits etc. The GP seemed to fob her off with sleeping tablets. It's just not so easy to access help, and unfortunately when you are ill and at a low ebb, that's precisely when it is impossible to be pushy. Pushy patients get better outcomes.

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