Scrap 6 Months – 14 months and still waiting
In July 2019, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) announced a review of how well the benefits system works for people who are terminally ill. The announcement came in response to campaigning by the MND Association and Marie Curie to change the law on access to the benefits fast-track process for terminally ill claimants. Under the current benefits system, only people who are ‘reasonably expected to die within six months’ are eligible to apply for benefits through the Special Rules for Terminal Illness (SRTI) fast-track process. This unfairly excludes many of those living with unpredictable terminal illnesses like MND.
On 29 June 2020, Justin Tomlinson, Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, during Work and Pensions oral questions stated that
“the evaluation remains a priority for the Department. We have made good progress and expect to be able to provide an update on the outcome of the evaluation shortly.”
It’s now 14 months since the DWP promised to take action and we are still waiting to see the outcomes of their review.
Sally Light, Chief Executive of the MND Association, said:
“More than 2,500 people have died from MND since the DWP announced its terminal illness review last July, many struggling to access the benefits they desperately need. The Government has been dragging its heels over this review of a system that is unworkable and unfair. Too many people with MND spend their final months fighting for benefits – reform is urgently needed to ensure a fair and compassionate system to support people living with a terminal illness.”
On Monday 14 September 2020, The Department for Work and Pensions oral questions take place again and we are urging the Minister Justin Tomlinson MP to make an announcement on the review and publish the findings urgently.
Supporters can help keep the pressure on the Government and ensure the review findings include our key asks:
- scrap the 6-month rule and replace it with the judgement of a clinical specialist
- scrap the 3-year award time limit and replace it with a lifetime award.
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