A Bill to help all people with MND easily access the benefits they need has been delayed
Over the last few months, the MND Association, Marie Curie and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on MND Madeleine Moon MP, have been campaigning to change how the law defines ‘terminal illness’, so that ALL people with a terminal illness can access the Special Rules for Terminal Illness fast track process.
Currently only 40% of claims for disability benefits such as Personal Independent Payment by people with MND are made through the Special Rules for Terminal Illness fast track process. Six in 10 people are left to apply through the standard process which is entirely inappropriate and insensitive to their situation.
The Special Rules fast track process requires a ‘reasonable expectation of death within six months’ – something which is incredibly difficult to predict in people living with MND. Therefore, people with MND are being unfairly excluded from this process, despite being terminally ill.
Madeleine Moon MP’s Private Members’ Bill titled “Access to Welfare (Terminal Illness Definition) Bill 2017-19” proposes to remove the six months time limit and replace it with a clinical judgment made by an appropriate health professional. The Bill was due to have its second reading on 23 November 2018. However, the second reading of the Bill has been delayed until 25 January 2019.
MND Association’s Chief Executive Sally Light said:
“The delay to this Bill means that many people with MND, and other terminal illnesses, will continue to struggle through a claims process that is entirely inappropriate for their situation. It is absurd that people who are dying of a terminal illness are being told they are not dying fast enough, or are not terminally ill enough, to access a process which is designed for terminally ill people. Instead, they are forced to complete long forms, attend face to face assessments, meet with work coaches to discuss work aspirations, or are waiting weeks, and sometimes months, for their benefits to arrive.”
We have today written to the new Secretary of State for Work and Pensions calling for urgent action so that all people living with a terminal illness can access the Special Rules fast track process and can get the benefits they need quickly and sensitively.”
Thank you to everyone who is campaigning to help Scrap 6 Months, we must continue to keep the pressure on! We will be planning further action, please check the Scrap 6 Months webpage for updates.