Update on DWP terminal illness review
In June 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 reform the law on access to the benefits fast-track process for terminally ill claimants. The campaign, Scrap Six Months is ongoing and more information about it is available on our webpages.
The MND Association attended a stakeholder engagement event in October 2019 where we communicated our concerns to the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Justin Tomlinson MP, and to DWP officials. Following a delay to the review process caused by the December general election, we are now working to ensure that the review takes into account the views and experiences of people affected by motor neurone disease.
- The DWP has arranged an engagement event in London for people living with and affected by MND, which will take place in early March. We also understand Marie Curie will be hosting a similar event at one of their hospices towards the end of the month. We’re really pleased that the perspective of people with MND will be heard by directly the DWP as part of their review, which is something we’ve all been pushing for strongly.
- The DWP has produced a survey for relevant health professionals to complete, which is open until 29th We have promoted the survey to clinicians via our networks and on social media, including our Clinical Advisory Board and to all care centre coordinators.
- We met again with Justin Tomlinson MP in late January 2020, where we stressed the need for the review to make progress as quickly as possible and deliver tangible change to ensure that everyone affected by terminal illness can benefit from the fast-track process.
We also continue to work to raise awareness of this issue in Parliament, and generate support for reform. The first 2020 meeting of the MND All-Party Parliamentary Group took place on 12th February, and was attended by a record number of MPs. The meeting provided an opportunity for MPs to learn about our Scrap 6 Months campaign and hear a personal account of the problems that people affected by MND have experienced when applying for benefits.
We will continue to engage closely with the DWP review process, as well as working to raise awareness more widely of the need for change. We will provide further updates as the process moves forward.