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The death of Moira Drury, after the removal of her employment and support allowance (ESA).

What: Moira Drury’s ESA was removed because she had twice been too unwell to attend a WCA. That decision was confirmed within days after she requested a mandatory reconsideration (the first stage in the appeal process). The former nurse had a number of health conditions, and had received a severe head injury through an attack by her abusive husband, but was forced to spend the last six months of her life fighting DWP over its decision. She told her daughter Nichole, before she died, that the stress of dealing with DWP had contributed to her health deteriorating. Her daughter later protested outside the Conservative party conference because, she said, “the system is cruel and it is unfair and it seems like the weakest and most vulnerable are being targeted by the cuts… People like my mum don’t fight back because they can’t.” She had earlier told the Guardian: “Stress and anxiety lowers your immune system and ability to fight disease. I am absolutely certain that the stress she endured caused her to give up her fight against her illnesses. Without the stress this caused she would have had a little more precious time.”

Why significant: Moira Drury’s death was another linked to DWP’s failure to collect the evidence needed to assess fitness for work properly, but also demonstrates the harshness of the decisions reached by DWP.


'My mother's death was hastened by long delay in processing her benefits', Butler, 2015
'‘Trench warfare’ as DPAC protesters shame Tories outside their conference', Pring, 2015