Cancer patient loses benefits after DWP lists her as dead

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KING’S LYNN: Cancer patient loses
benefits after DWP lists her as dead
Published on Friday 2 November 2012 10:57

                                             Eileen Callaby is angry that her benefits were
                                             stopped after the DWP thought she was dead

                                             Weeks after surviving a cancer operation, a patient
                                             received a letter stating that her benefits had been
                                             cancelled as she had died.

                                             Eileen Callaby says her recovery from lung cancer is
                                             being hampered due to the financial worry created
                                             by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
                                             stopping her benefits after mistakenly listing her as

                                             Mrs Callaby , 52, who lives with her son Peter in
                                             Queen Elizabeth Avenue, Gaywood, even had to
                                             visit Lynn Job Centre on Monday with her birth
                                             certificate to prove that she is alive.

She is waiting for to start chemotherapy after having sections of her lung removed in

Mrs Callaby is calling for improvements in the DWP after section failed to communicate
with another that she was alive.

She said: “I don’t understand where it came from that I had died.

“Without any notification or a death certificate they put me down as dead.

“This has been a shock and I think they ought to think twice at what they are doing.”

The problems came to light when her 23-year-old son received a letter from the
Disability and Carers Service on September 28 offering condolences for his mother’s
death and asking for information in relation to a disability living allowance claim.

Mrs Callaby immediately contacted the service to state that there had been a mistake
and was informed that it would be put right.

She said: “I wondered if this was because of the operation.
“I began to wonder if they had put me down as dead.”

Four days later, her son received a letter from West Norfolk Council offering
condolences and wishing to discuss a claim.

Mrs Callaby, who suffers rheumatoid arthritis, says she received a backdated claim and
thought the problem had been resolved.

On Friday last week, she noticed that her income support payment had not been made.

When she contacted the Job Centre Plus she was told that there was a problem and
she would need to speak to someone else on Monday.

Mrs Callaby was later told that she was no longer on the system and would have to
take in proof to the job centre of her identity.

She said: “This has been a worry as I don’t know what is going to happen next.”

A Department for Work and Pensions spokeswoman has apologised for the error.

She said: “We have been in contact with Mrs Callaby to apologise for the way we have
dealt with her claim and have now paid all the arrears of benefits due.”

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