November 2 was the worst day for Elaine Morrall's four children. The 38-year-old mom was found dead wearing her coat and scarf in her freezing house in northwest England. According to Morrall's mother, her daughter was on a tight budget after her welfare payments were cut off for missing a check-in due to sickness.
Elaine Morrall's mother, Linda Morrall, wrote on social media that her daughter "[died] in the cold with her coat and scarf on because she wouldn't put her heating on until her kids came home from school."
"[She] was in and out of hospital in recent months in intensive care but was not deemed ill enough for employment and support allowance."At the moment, Elaine's cause of death remains unknown, as it has not been released by the authorities. Her mother did say that Elaine had been struggling with hospital stays in recent months, as well as mental health issues, including depression and an eating disorder. Police will continue investigating the situation.
In her social media post, Linda also mentioned that her daughter was deemed "not ill enough for ESA [employment support allowance]," and that she had "her benefits stopped numerous times," including her housing benefits.
According to Linda, Elaine was expected to pay for housing without an income, and she was even being taken to court to pay her rent. Linda continued saying that the reason why her benefits were stopped this time was that Elaine missed an interview with social security officials because she was at the hospital, something she consideres unfair and the alleged reason why her daughter lost her life.
In England, vulnerable people who depend on social security to pay for their basic needs have been affected by the recent austerity measures the government has taken, including, but not limited to, the roll out of Universal Credit. With Universal Credit people on welfare receive only one payment, replacing the six other payments they used to have before.
The requirements set for Universal Credit have made it harder for people who are struggling to be able to keep their benefits. Among those requirements are the meetings with welfare officials and set dates for delivering specific paperwork. Failure to do so may result in a sanction, driving people who are already struggling financially into deep poverty and sometimes even homelessness.
In this case, Elaine's failure to appear at the set meeting resulted in her death, according to Linda.
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