FAST TRACK BENEFITS FOR ALL TERMINALLY ILL PEOPLE.
INQUIRY FINDS CURRENT SYSTEM IS OUTDATED AND UNREALISTIC.
SNP MP Drew Hendry leads the campaign to fast-track benefits for all terminally ill people by leading an inquiry that calls time on outdated DWP rules.
As Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Terminal Illness, Mr Hendry launched an inquiry report into current DWP rules that mean benefits are only fast-tracked if a terminally ill person has a diagnosis of 6 months. The report found that this current system is “outdated, arbitrary and not based on clinical reality” and leaves terminally ill people facing “far reaching financial hardship and crippling debt.”
Information uncovered during the inquiry shows that the current ‘six-month rule’ definition of terminal illness, brought in three decades ago and used extensively to determine how quickly someone gets access to benefits, was invented by politicians, and has no clinical evidence to support its use.
The SNP Scottish Government will remove the 6 months condition for Personal Independence Payments and use the evidence of doctors and clinicians to assess whether or not someone is terminally ill. The power to make these changes to rules around Universal Credit remains reserved to Westminster.
Commenting, Drew Hendry MP, said:
“This inquiry reveals that the Tories’ callous ‘6 month or less’ policy leaves terminally ill people facing devastating and far reaching financial hardship and crippling debt because of ‘made-up policy fudge’ invented three decades ago – the Tories must scrap this rule immediately.
“The current rules seriously restrict access to vital financial support for many terminally ill people, whose condition will only deteriorate, but who may live for longer than six months.
“Terminally ill people and their families across Scotland and the rest of the UK are being failed miserably by this Tory Government. It is incumbent on us to do everything we can to ensure that the time they have left is lived with dignity. That is why we set up this cross party group and why we are calling on the Minister to scrap this rule.”
APPG report available here – https://www.mariecurie.org.uk/policy/appg-for-terminal-illness