A mum-of-four died alone in her freezing home after her benefits were cut because she was too ill to attend a Universal Credit meeting.

Elaine Morrall was found dead at her Runcorn home wearing a coat and scarf earlier this month, her family said.

The 38-year-old, who suffered from mental health problems and an eating disorder, had her benefits stopped after failing to attend a meeting about Universal Credit while she was in a hospital intensive care unit.

Her mother, Linda Morrall, said her daughter died while waiting for her children "because she wouldn't put her heating on until her kids came home from school", as she was so short of cash.

Linda Morrall blamed welfare benefits cuts for her daughter's death in an open letter she posted on Facebook to her local councillor in Halton, to the east of Liverpool. She added Elaine was also being taken to court by her local housing authority.

"How many people have got to die before this government realises they are killing vulnerable people"?, wrote Linda Morrall.

Halton Labour MP Derek Twigg said on a statement on Facebook that he is now working with the family.

He added: "The family are grieving and request that they are given the privacy, time and space they need at this time."

A spokesperson for the DWP told Metro: "Our thoughts are with Ms Morrall's family at this difficult time. We understand that people can't always attend appointments, which is why we will re-arrange alternative times.

"'Assessment decisions are made with consideration of all the information provided, including supporting evidence from a GP or medical specialist. Anyone who disagrees with a decision can appeal."

Linda Morrall's heartbreaking letter about the death of her daughter Elaine

'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 1 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 ESA [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??'

was too ill to attend a meeting, according to her grieving family.