Family of Stockton mum who died after benefits stopped call for second inquest

Video report by Kris Jepson

The family of Jodey Whiting, who died by suicide after her benefits had been halted in 2017, are calling for a new inquest into her death.

Jodey Whiting

The family of Jodey Whiting, from Norton, Stockton, have submitted papers to the High Court requesting a second inquest into the circumstances leading up to her death.

The 42-year-old mother of nine took her own life in February 2017 after some of her benefits had been halted due to her missing a work capability assessment.

The family were unhappy with the conclusion of the first inquest and have called for it to be quashed.

Joy Dove, Jodey's mother, claims her daughter had mental health issues and could not cope with the pressure of losing her financial support.

Devastated by her death, she said her daughter was let down by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Joy said: "They sent a letter dated the 25 February when we told them on the 22 that she had died, saying you’re fit to work. They were just unbelievable. They never handled it right did they?

Joy Dove

Officials of the DWP apologised in person in 2019 and paid £10,000 compensation to the family after an independent inquiry found the department had breached its own rules.

The DWP told the family that, as a result of the case, changes had been made to its procedures to safeguard vulnerable claimants. 

Joy Dove would not accept the apology and, unhappy with the conclusion of the first inquest, she sought legal advice to help her secure a second, more in-depth inquiry.

On Friday her solicitors, Leigh Day, submitted an application to the High Court to quash the first inquest. They are now seeking a second inquest so the actions of the DWP in the events leading up to Jodey’s death can be fully considered.

A DWP spokesperson told ITV News “our condolences are with Jodey’s family. It would not be appropriate for us to comment further as this is now a matter for the High Court.”

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