Thursday, 11 July 2019 10:59

DWP TO EVALUATE BENEFITS FOR TERMINALLY ILL PEOPLE AFTER SNP PRESSURE

Today Amber Rudd announced that she has asked the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to evaluate the way the UK welfare system supports terminally ill people following pressure from the SNP.

SNP MP Drew Hendry has led the campaign to fast-track benefits for all terminally ill people and as chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Terminal Illness, published an inquiry report last week into the current DWP rules that mean benefits are only fast-tracked if a terminally ill person is not expected to live more than 6 months.

The report found that the current system is “outdated, arbitrary and not based on clinical reality” and leaves terminally ill people facing “far reaching financial hardship and crippling debt.”

The Work and Pensions Secretary confirmed today that she has asked the DWP to set up “an honest and in depth evaluation of how the benefits system supports people nearing the end of their life.”

Commenting, Drew Hendry MP, said:

“We have been asking the Tories to take action on the UK benefits system for terminally ill people for a long time, so this announcement is welcome. However, Amber Rudd must ensure that the evaluation looks at the ‘6 month or less’ policy and that it is scrapped.

“Last week, the APPG on Terminal Illness’s inquiry report revealed that this 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far reaching financial hardship and crippling debt because of ‘made-up policy fudge’ invented three decades ago – it is outdated and unwarranted.

“The Scottish Government has already provided the answer by confirming they will do away with the 6-month rule when it takes over Personal Independence Payments – instead, opting to rely on clinical advice.

“The UK Tory government must follow suit because right now they are miserably failing terminally ill people and their families across Scotland and the rest of the UK. These people need more than warm words from the Secretary – they need immediate action to scrap the punitive policy.”



APPG report available here - https://www.mariecurie.org.uk/policy/appg-for-terminal-illness
 

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