PIP UK: DWP expands fast-tracked access to payments for terminal claimants – full details
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PIP claimants are set to face changes in the coming months as the DWP announced today fast-tracked access to benefits will be extended to more people diagnosed with a terminal illness, increasing the support for those nearing the end of their lives. The changes confirmed the current “Special Rules for Terminal Illness” which fast-track benefit applications for those with a terminal diagnosis of six months, is to be replaced with a new 12-month, end of life definition.
This, the DWP detailed, will ensure that people in the final year of their life will receive vital financial support quicker than they can do at present and at the highest rate through revised Special Rules.
Justin Tomlinson, the Minister for Disabled People, commented on the news.
Mr Tomlinson said: “Being diagnosed with a terminal illness is devastating and this change will increase much needed support for people who are nearing the end of their lives.
“The new 12-month approach will ensure people get the financial help they need as quickly as possible in the most challenging of times.
“We have carefully considered the best approach and I am grateful to everyone who has contributed to our work in reaching this outcome.”
The DWP broke down how the new system works: “Under the updated rules, clinicians still have discretion and will be supported by a realistic and straightforward definition, which aligns with current NHS practice.
“Ministers plan to implement the 12-month end-of-life approach across five DWP benefits, beginning with Universal Credit and Employment Support Allowance next year and Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independence Payment when parliamentary time allows.
“It follows a DWP evaluation which heard the views of people nearing the end of their lives, their families and friends, the organisations supporting them and the clinicians involved in their care.”
These changes were welcomed by a number of charities.
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Matthew Reed, the Chief Executive of the end of life charity Marie Curie, had the following to say: “Following years of campaigning for change, Marie Curie welcomed the news today which is a significant step forward and a tribute to all those who bravely shared their experiences of the benefits system.
“This will help ensure that more dying people can concentrate on making the most of the limited time they have left, rather than worrying about their finances.
“Marie Curie believes that everyone has the right to the best end of life care and support.
“There is more to be done, but this is important progress and we look forward to working with the UK Government to bring in this change as quickly as possible.
“Marie Curie will continue to play our part in making the case for people living with terminal illness to receive the financial support they need at the end of life, and ensuring that terminally ill people and their health professionals know what they are entitled to.”
Sally Light, the CEO of the Motor Neurone Disease Association, was also welcoming of the news.
Ms Light said: “The MND Association is pleased the Government has listened to the voices of terminally ill people and announced it will scrap the six-month rule.
“This is a victory for the hundreds of campaigners across the country who have worked tirelessly alongside the MND Association urging the Government to change the rules.
“Now the recommendations must be implemented quickly to ensure no more people already facing the most difficult time of their life have to wait to claim the support they not only desperately need but are entitled to.”
Under the current rules, people can get PIP more quickly if they’re terminally ill and the following apply:
- Their doctor or a healthcare professional has said they might have less than six months to live
- They are aged 16 or over and have not reached state pension age
PIP claims for the terminally ill can be made by the affected individual or, someone else can apply on the claimant’s behalf and terminal claimants will not need to go through any face-to-face consultations.
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