A mum says she was 'gobsmacked' to open a letter from the DWP mistakenly saying her teenage son is dead.
Joanne Sayers said she would have panicked if her son didn't live with her and she hadn't spoken to him.
Christopher Sayers, 19, was at work – alive and well – when his post arrived and his mum opened the letter.
His mum said she phoned the DWP and explained "he was alive – unless I am living with a ghost".
DWP officials have apologised after the blunder, Chronicle Live reports.
Christopher had been receiving Universal Credit but after finding a new job told the Department for Work and Pensions he no longer needed to claim the benefit.
The teen was initially told he would need to repay £360.82 in overpayments.
After paying back the cash, Chris' mum Joanne said a letter was sent in the post to her son saying he was dead and the money had been refunded – despite him being alive and well.
Joanne, 44, said: "He was at work and I opened the letter and it said my son was dead.
"I tried to ring them (DWP) for an hour and a half to tell them that he was alive – unless I am living with a ghost.
"I tried to explain that he wasn't in the house so he couldn't confirm the details. I had to ring back and was on hold for another 30 minutes.
"I told them my son was alive and at work and that they sent a letter saying he was dead.
"They sent it addressed to my son as well."
Joanne, who takes medication for depression, said that she would have panicked if her son didn't live with her.
She said: "What if my son was not living at home and I had not spoken to him for a few days?
"I would have been panic stricken. I was absolutely gobsmacked to receive a letter like that out of the blue.
"I'm just glad he's okay. The DWP have a lot to answer for, they really do."
Joanne said the DWP has since been on the phone to apologise for the error.
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