MND Association welcomes report on benefits and terminal illness

By agency reporter
July 9, 2019

A report revealing terminally ill people face devastating and far-reaching financial hardship because of a ‘made-up policy fudge’ has been welcomed by the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association.

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Terminal Illness report found that the current benefits system rule that a person must have six months or less to live to get fast access to benefits is ‘outdated, arbitrary and not based on clinical reality’.

Sally Light, chief executive of the MND Association, says: “These findings add yet more weight to our call for the Government to change the rules as a matter of urgency.

“Our Scrap 6 Months campaign has been gathering momentum over the last year and the report provides further evidence that the rules, as they stand, just don’t work for people who are terminally ill, including those with MND.

“We speak regularly to people who are facing financial hardship because they can’t access benefits using the fast track process until they are deemed to have a life expectancy of six months or less.

“But terminal illnesses don’t operate to a convenient timeline. A third of people die within a year of being diagnosed with MND, half within two years. But the disease is unpredictable. The only thing that is definite is that it is terminal. And we believe no one with a terminal illness should have to waste precious time enduring lengthy benefits processes.”

Supporters of the MND Association’s campaign, including people with the disease and families affected by it went to Parliament on 4 July 2019, to meet their MPs and encourage them to sign a letter to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Amber Rudd, calling for the Government to scrap six months.

In the meantime a Scrap 6 Months petition, organised by the MND Association in conjunction with Marie Curie, will be handed into Downing Street on 7 August 2019.

* Read  Six Months To Live? Report of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Terminal Illness inquiry into the legal definition of terminal illness here

* All Party Parliamentary Group for Terminal Illness https://www.mariecurie.org.uk/policy/appg-for-terminal-illness

* Scrap 6 Months petition here

* Motor Neurone DIsease Association https://www.mndassociation.org/

[Ekk/6]

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