The second inquest into the death of a disabled woman who took her own life when her benefits were stopped has formally opened.

Jodey Whiting died in February 2017 around two weeks after her disability benefit was cut when she did not attend a work capability assessment.

Her mother, Joy Dove, challenged the coroners’ service for more than four-years to discover the role that the Department of Work and Pensions decision played in the 42-year-old’s death.

She took her fight all of the way to the Court of Appeal where she was successful in winning a second inquest into the cause of death of Stockton's Ms Whiting.

The Northern Echo: Jodey WhitingJodey Whiting

The first inquest into Jodey’s death, held in May 2017, lasted only 37 minutes and Ms Dove did not have any legal representation.

During that hearing, the coroner refused her request to consider the DWP’s potential role in Jodey’s decision to take her own life.

Teesside’s Senior Coroner Clare Bailey promised the family that the new inquiry will try to resolve their concerns.

In March, Lady Justice Whipple, sitting with Lord Justice Lewis and Lord Justice William Davis, said in the ruling that a fresh inquest is “desirable in the interests of justice”.

The judge said the public has a “legitimate interest” in knowing whether Ms Whiting’s death was connected with the abrupt stopping of her benefits.

The Northern Echo: Joy Dove outside the Court of Appeal in LondonJoy Dove outside the Court of Appeal in London (Image: PA)

Speaking after the pre-inquest review at Teesside Magistrates’ Court, Ms Dove said: “This is an important step in my legal journey and I am so relieved that after all this time we have the opportunity for a second inquest into the death of my beloved daughter Jodey, which I have been fighting so hard to get.

“My legal campaign has now been going on for four years and I could not have done this without the support of my family as well as my legal team. I hope that the full inquest will help us finally get to the truth and will initiate vital change, as well as providing justice for Jodey.”

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At the time of the assessment for her Employment Support Allowance (ESA) by the DWP, Jodey was housebound with pneumonia, had been in hospital, and had found out that she had a cyst on the brain.

The decision to terminate Ms Whiting’s benefit was overturned on March 31, weeks after her death.

The independent case examiner, which investigates complaints about the DWP, later found multiple breaches of department policy, significant errors by staff and several “missed opportunities” for the DWP to reconsider the claim.

The inquest, which is anticipated to last three days, is expected to take place next April or May.