Becky Gatenby and her terminally ill dad Anthony, who's 63 and lives in Silsden near Bradford, have faced a four month battle to secure the benefits he is entitled to.
Anthony, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in June last year and given a prognosis of less than two years, feared losing his home when his benefits were cut, has been forced to provide 'fit notes' from his GP and warned he may have to attend meetings at the job centre despite being housebound.
Becky, who is 31, said:
“My father is in his last months of life. His mobility is severely impaired. His mental cognition is limited. He is weak and giving up and yet all this is being piled on top of him. Where is the compassion and empathy?
“A prognosis is never exact – it should not be a matter of time. 'Terminally ill' should be enough to ensure people receive the benefits they are entitled to now, when they need it.
“This continuous circle of stress has had an adverse effect on myself, my dying father and other people around us. The precious little time I have left with him has been clouded by financial worries. All I want to do is love and care for Dad.”
People living with MND should be able to claim benefits without having to fill in a long form, attend a face-to-face assessment, or wait weeks for their benefits to arrive. We are calling on the Government to change the law so that everyone with a terminal illness can access benefits quickly and sensitively.
We’re looking for people living with MND to share their experience of claiming benefits as part of our Scrap 6 Months campaign. We’d also like to hear from carers who have supported a person living with MND through the benefits process. If you have a story to tell, please get in touch and share your experience.