People who passed away as a result of not having enough money to live have expressed their extreme gratitude for finally receiving the sickness benefits they were due.
The Department for Work and Pensions has paid out around £1.5 billion in overdue sickness benefits and the recipients are overjoyed, even the dead ones.
Simon Williams, 64, died just before Christmas 2017. He’d been unable to work for two years due to severe back problems. Unable to pay his bills his gas was cut off leaving him without heating and he became another victim of a cold, harsh winter.
“I’m just so happy that the government has now given me the £10,000 I was owed,” Simon said.
“I mean, it would have been nice to have had it when I was alive, perhaps so I could survive long enough to retire and meet my little grandson who was due in March… God, that sounds so ungrateful! No, I really can’t thank the government enough.
“I’m not entirely sure what I’ll do with this cheque – here in the afterlife money and wealth are abstract concepts and there aren’t any banks… oh, there I go again! What I mean is that I’m very, very grateful – better late than never and all that.”
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Esther McVey – who heads up the department which exists solely to administer this sort of thing and look after the vulnerable in society – explained the error.
“Firstly – and this is crucial – the mistake predates my time in office and so isn’t my fault. At all.
“Secondly, benefits are like, really complicated and involve tax codes and stuff. Even the word ‘codes’ is so cryptic! I’m not sure anyone really understands how it all works.
“Thirdly, it might have had something to do with computers.
“We don’t even know if these new amounts are correct but I thought we’d better quickly write some cheques to shut those slackers up!”