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Mum’s body was found next to benefits letter after taking fatal overdose

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A mum who took a fatal overdose was found next to a letter about a benefits claim, an inquest heard.

Philippa Day, 27, was found unconscious in August 2019 and was in a coma until she died on October 15 that year, her family said.

She was found next to a note from Capita about a PIP assessment, NottinghamshireLive reports.

The inquest heard her dad Charles Day found notes on her laptop while Miss Day, of Nottingham, was in hospital after the overdose.

One was directed at her mental health nurse which read "thanks Tessa for trying", it was said.

Her family claims her £228 weekly money was reduced to £60, after she applied for Personal Independence Payments (PIP) in November 2018.

When an appointment for an assessment came through for an early meeting in Derby in August she was "highly distressed", her dad said.

Miss Day, who had agoraphobia, felt she "couldn't cope" with leaving the house to attend, Nottingham Coroner's Court heard.

Her dad said it would have been difficult to attend as she could not drive and found it difficult to get up early due to her anti-psychotic medication.

Mr Day said: "The thought of getting to somewhere else to meet people she didn’t know would’ve frightened the hell out of her.

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"She would view a meeting with the DWP as them trying to prevent her from getting benefits.

"Getting her out of the house was difficult enough as it was."

But the letter stated if she didn’t attend the appointment without good reason the DWP could refuse her claim, the inquest heard.

Mr Day said: "That would have devastated her. She would have been angry and frightened, she would have been in turmoil.

"This was very much the sort of thing she would not be able to cope with."

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On August 7, he said he rang his daughter and told her it would have to go ahead, and he and Tessa Rand would be there to assist her.

He said: "I know she was incredibly upset about that. I think that was the final straw."

Her dad rang her again that evening but she did not wish to talk so they arranged to speak the next day, the hearing was told.

But there was no response when he rang the next afternoon so they went to her home and found her, he added.

He said: "She had insulin pens, she had a letter from Capita with regard to the meeting, she had the laptop and the phone."

As far as he could remember the Capita letter about the appointment was found on her pillow, the inquest heard.

A DWP spokesman said: “Our condolences are with Miss Day’s family.

"As the inquest process is ongoing it would be inappropriate to comment at this time."

A Capita spokesman, the DWP's PIP assessment provider, said: "We extend our deepest condolences to Philippa Day’s family over her tragic death.

"We are one of several parties assisting the coroner in relation to the inquest into these sad circumstances and we will continue to cooperate fully with this inquiry."

The inquest is due to continue on Wednesday.

For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email jo@samaritans.org, visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

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