‘Disgraceful’ letter sent to dead son


A British mum who lost her son in May says she felt like she was "stabbed in the chest" after receiving a government letter referring to him only as "Mr A Deceased".

The unnamed mother's 44-year-old son, identified only as Kai, died in May of respiratory failure and pneumonia.

At the time of his death, Kai was in the middle of appealing a government decision to cut off his disability payments.

But months after he died, a letter was sent to the Derbyshire Unemployed Workers' Centre (DUWC), which had been helping the family with the appeal. It was recently passed on to Kai's mother for the first time.

It was sent by Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service, and was titled "appeal for Mr A Deceased".

A photo of the letter was shared on Twitter by a Labour activist and campaigner, who described the letter as "shocking".

It was accompanied by an explanation of the situation by a DUWC worker.

"The son of one of our former volunteers died whilst challenging a decision to take away his personal independence payment," the statement reads.

"With our support and advice his mother pursued the tribunal and today he was awarded enhanced daily living and enhanced mobility (payments) …

"The letter below was received by the DUWC in respect of this case. It is headed with a reference to Mr A Deceased. He wasn't even given a name, just a (national insurance) number and reference number.

"They even put his postcode at the bottom of the DUWC address. Fortunately his mother was not sent this letter. No words can describe how we feel about this …"

Speaking to Metro, Kai's mother said the letter had added to her grief.

"I feel like I've been stabbed in the chest with a knife after seeing that letter," she told the publication.

"It's about having respect for people, they're not just a name and a number.

"It was extremely upsetting, all it had was his national insurance number, it was really quite distressing and difficult."

A grieving mum has received an official letter to her ‘deceased’ son. Picture: Twitter/@imajsaclaimant
A grieving mum has received an official letter to her ‘deceased’ son. Picture: Twitter/@imajsaclaimant

Even though her son had died, the woman continued the appeal on Kai's behalf and ended up winning the case, and being paid the money he had been owed.

DUWC representative Colin Hampton told Metro he originally thought the letter was a cruel "joke" but added the letter had clearly been computer generated.

"There needs to be a degree of sensitivity and humanity dealing with people who have died," he said.

Meanwhile, social media users have also reacted with fury, variously describing the letter as "shocking", "truly horrible" and "unbelievable".

"It will be brushed off as a 'one off' or an 'administration error' - despite there being at least 130,000 more. Either that, or the bog standard response of 'we cant discuss individual cases' will be given. Absolutely appalling response," one Twitter user posted.

"Absolutely disgusting beyond belief," another wrote, while another added: "An absolute disgrace. This system is killing people."