A woman in England has died because she wasn't able to afford heating in her freezing home.
According to the woman's mother, Elaine Morrall died in her house in Runcorn, Cheshire, because she had to save money by turning the heat off until her children got home from school, the Daily Mail reports.
The 38-year-old single mother of four reportedly suffered from anorexia, which increases vulnerability to hypothermia.
According to her family, she died wearing a scarf and coat inside in an attempt to keep warm in her own house.
She was too ill to attend a meeting as required to receive benefits under the government's "Universal Credit" welfare program, the family said.
Her mother, Linda, wrote the following scathing letter and posted it to Facebook.
How many people have got to die before this government realizes they are killing vulnerable people?
My daughter lived in Boston Ave. She died on the afternoon of 2 November, 2017 at home on her own. She was 38yrs.
In the cold with her coat & scarf on. Because she wouldn't put her heating on until her kids came home from school. Why?? Because she couldn't afford it.
Because she was severely depressed. Suffered from eating disorder & many other problems for many years.
Mainly due to authoritarians of one form or another. I can give you details. Was in & out of hospital in recent months in intensive care.
But was deemed not ill enough for [Employment and Support Allowance]. Had her benefits stopped numerous times, which in turn stopped her housing benefit.
No income but expected to be able to pay full rent. Was told being in intensive care was not sufficient reason for failing to attend a universal credit interview.
I went to the job centre to inform them that she couldn't attend. But benefits stopped again.
Uncaring housing taking her to court. She's due to go to court on Monday.
Is being dead now enough reason? Is that what's had to happen to prove she was ill?
How many people have got to die before this government realises they are killing vulnerable people??
What are you and your fellow councillors going to do to protect your constituents?
"It is a very tragic case and I am providing assistance to my constituent," said Member of Parliament Derek Twigg, who is now working with the family.
A fundraising page for Morrall's children was set up by single mother Rebecca Wolfe, after she learned of the tragedy.
"It upset me so much thinking about this woman's children," Wolfe said. "It struck a chord with me. When I was a lot younger I was diagnosed with kidney cancer. My children were only young and every waking moment I was worried about who was going to look after them. That was my worse nightmare."
In her call for donations, she bluntly stated: "You can give your sympathies, prayers and thoughts but that doesn't help the family."
The Universal Credit program merges six different benefits into a single payment.
Enacted in 2011, its purpose was to give people an incentive to work. However, the 42-day average waiting time for payments has left more people struggling to pay for basic necessities, according to RT.