DWP And Other Agencies Implicated After Claimants Body Left Undiscovered

In May 2021 the body of Laura Winham was discovered after her family had visited her to inform her about the death of her father. They discovered her body after looking through her letterbox because there was no answer.

The police were called and found her mummified and skeletal body when they forced entry into her flat. They also discovered unopened bills from creditors and markings made on her calendar which stopped in November 2017.

One of her last notes read “I need help”.

Laura Winham had schizophrenia and had previously been sectioned under the Mental Health Act and as a result of her condition her family were no longer able to have contact with her as she believed that they were trying to harm her.

However the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) failed to make any checks on Laura before they cut off her payments. She subsequently died and was left undiscovered in her flat for more than three years, a pre-inquest hearing has been told.

The DWP contacted Laura in 2016 to inform her that her benefits was being transferred and therefore she had to apply for PIP or her DLA (Disability Living Payments) would cease.

Laura failed to respond to the DWP and after after several written reminders had been sent her DLA was stopped. No wellness check was made or any attempt to enquire about her situation was made despite Laura having a recorded severe mental illness. Nor did they check on her ability to take part in the transfer process either.

It is noted that although the DWP were far from the only agency that had let Laura down they are a very large and well resourced agency. They can make no excuse for stopping a very vulnerable claimants. money because they were unable and possibly unwilling to safely manage a simple transfer process.

Laura’s inquest is being held in April, please keep her and others in your thoughts.

You’d have thought that the DWP would have learnt how to deal with situations like this from previous incidents but they very clearly haven’t. Maybe it’s best to ignore their usual press statement which is usually ‘Lessons will be learnt’.

Photo by Ksenia Chernaya on Pexels.com

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5 thoughts on “DWP And Other Agencies Implicated After Claimants Body Left Undiscovered”

  1. Yet another example of our declining public services due to Conservative policies over the last decade, and neoliberalism for the last forty years. I hope Charlotte and Trev are OK.


    1. Thank you Antony, am just about surviving with a few aches & pains and no money. Still waiting for the government website to come online so that I can claim the £400 energy discount, it was supposed to be up & running in January but me and a million other people are still waiting, heard nothing since the Gov press release of December 19th 2022, and in meantime am paying landlord over £200 per month for electricity out of my monthly income of just over £300.


      Also been waiting 3 weeks for a decision on my application to local welfare provision (Council) for a Discretionary Hardship payment. Been getting food parcels since beginning December but had my last one today and have used up my allocated allowance.

      Other than all that just a few physical ailments to cope with! Hope all well with your self.


  2. Truly shocking and disgusting. The Tories have so much blood on their hands with all they have done over the last decade with their Welfare Reforms and Austerity.


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