DWP is set to begin its long-awaited changes to the Special Rules for Terminal Illness in England and Wales

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After years of campaigning, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is set to begin introducing its long-awaited changes to the Special Rules for Terminal Illness in England and Wales. From 4th April 2022, the criteria for access to the “Special Rules” benefits fast track for people living with a terminal illness will change to include people who are expected to have one year of life remaining, as opposed to six months under the current criteria. These changes are first being applied to Universal Credit and Employment and Support Allowance.

This means that a greater number of people living with more complex and unpredictable terminal illnesses like MND will be able to access the two benefits through a fast track process, without needing a face-to-face assessment or a waiting period, and in the majority of cases they will receive the highest rate of benefits.

The MND Association has been campaigning for reform of the Special Rules for several years through our Scrap 6 Months campaign. We welcome the announcement that these changes will now come into force for two of the key benefits that support people living with MND. However, this is only a first step and it is essential that the Government now moves quickly to deliver this change for other applicable benefits: Personal Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance. These will require changes to legislation and we will continue to call on the Government to ensure that this reform is implemented in full as soon as possible. In Northern Ireland, the law has already been changed for all applicable benefits.

If you are in need of direct information and support relating to welfare benefits then you can contact our dedicated Benefits Advice Service.

Find out more about the Scrap 6 Months campaign

For further information and support contact our MND Connect helpline

mndconnect 0808 802 6262