Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Mother Dawn Amos told she was too healthy for sickness benefits on the day she died

Letter received hours before 67-year-old's life-support machine is turned off after her collapse from a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 

Emma Henderson
Thursday 07 January 2016 17:40 GMT
Dawn's husband Mick and and Dawnís daughter Karina Mann
Dawn's husband Mick and and Dawnís daughter Karina Mann ( )

A mother suffering from lung disease was told she no longer qualified to receive health benefits - on the day she died.

Dawn Amos, of Braintree, Essex, passed away after suffering a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to Essex's Daily Gazette.

The 67-year-old's illness left her struggling for breath, unable to dress herself, walk long distances or do daily tasks herself, reported the Mirror.

The letter from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) was received on the day Ms Amos’ husband, Mick Amos, and their 42-year-old daughter, Karina Mann, agreed doctors should turn off her life support machine at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, Essex.

The DWP had made the decision that Ms Amos would no longer receive a weekly benefit of £55.10, or £82.30 for her personal care.

The Department of Work and Pensions review letter (

Mr Amos, 64, a self-employed window cleaner told the Daily Gazette: “It’s disgusting and heart-breaking. We had to turn her machine off.

“How ill do you have to be? Our garden is 40 or 50ft and she couldn’t walk down it without having to sit down at the bottom."

On the day Ms Amos died, she had collapsed at home unable to breath, which led her husband to call an ambulance, who told him to call back if it got worse.

“As soon as I got off the phone, she collapsed again and I was on the phone again," he said.

Mr Amos said he was doing CPR while on the phone as his wife had stopped breathing, and she was later taken to hospital.

Ms Mann said her mother had received the attendance allowance for six months, prior to be being reassessed.

Her claim was reviewed by the DWP for attendance allowance, which was based on her treatment, medication, test results and symptoms.

A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “Our thoughts are with the family of Mrs Amos. The decision was based on evidence which included the opinion of Mrs Amos’ own GP.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in