The government have announce increased support for those diagnosed with a terminal illness in a move welcomed by cancer nurse and MP Maria Caulfield.
The Special Rules for Terminal Illness allow the Department for Work and Pensions to provide fast-track support in five benefits; Personal Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance, Universal Credit and Employment and Support Allowance, without the requirement for waiting periods or a face-to-face assessment, with awards usually at the highest rate of benefit.
The government now intends to increase the diagnosis from 6 months to 12 months, mirroring the definition of end of life across the NHS.
Maria Caulfield MP said “Being an NHS cancer nurse I know how hard it can be not just on a person with a terminal diagnosis but also on their families. Those in such awful situations should not be burdened with financial worries on top of everything else. It is only right that we extend the financial support given to those with a terminal illness.”
Justin Tomlinson MP, Minister for Disabled People, Health & Work, wrote in a letter to MPs “The 12-month, end of life approach will mirror the current definition of end of life used across the NHS and ensure that people receive vital support through the Special Rules six months earlier than they do now, reducing the need for clinicians to have multiple difficult conversations with people nearing the end of their lives. Supporting people nearing the end of their lives is a priority for my Department and I am pleased to be taking this step forward.”