Benefits for terminally ill people to be reviewed

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The command will review its benefits system for the terminally ill following a damning formal report.

Currently, when a person’s death is expected within six months they prepare for fast-tracked access to benefits.

But this system was dubbed “outdated, dictatorial and not based on clinical reality” by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Deadly Illness.

Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd said “unshielded people” should not have to suffer “unnecessary hardship”.

Charities told the APPG that the twist to access benefits was making people’s lives a “total misery”.

The six-month in the main, introduced into law 30 years ago, means terminally ill people who are awaited to live longer than half a year are missing out on having their aids claims fast-tracked and simplified.

The Department for Work and Pensions was criticised by the APPG for its “unduly time-consuming, demeaning and insensitive” processes, and the report noted instances of reckon on officials overturning and challenging clinicians’ judgments.

‘The last thing you thirst for’

Mark Hughes, 57, worked as a truck driver before being determined with terminal bone cancer.

He told the DWP he was unable to work, but he did not moderate to have his benefits fast-tracked – and says he was then repeatedly sent species to fill out, some “as long as War and Peace”.

“Anybody with a terminal malady should be fast-tracked,” Mr Hughes told the BBC, adding, “why can’t one department be dealing with it, so you’re not obsolete around from pillar to post”.

“Jane, my wife, has just been determined her husband is going to die – and while she’s got that grief, she’s then having to have found out reams and reams of paperwork.

“They’re not a five-minute thing these rags. They can take a day, two days – and that’s the last thing you want to be doing when hotshot is dying.”

He adds: “The patient is only going through it once, but the progeny is going through it twice. They’re watching their loved one die and then, in the same breath they’ve died, they’ve got to go through it all again – with more paperwork.”

Ms Rudd broke experiences within her own family had shown her that the last thing people nearing the end of their lives demand was “financial pressures or unnecessary assessments”.

She continued: “So that’s why today I am commencement work on a fresh and honest evaluation of our benefits system, so that I can be unshakeable that people who are nearing the end of their life get the best possible countenance.

“I hope that this comprehensive evaluation of how we treat those with grave conditions and terminal illnesses, will help ensure these exposed people get the support they need from our benefits system.

“I yearn for people to have confidence in what we do at the DWP and no one should be suffering unnecessary unhappiness at this especially difficult time.”

Negative impact

Last week’s arrive said some doctors were struggling to accurately predict how big patients had to live – particularly those with non cancer-related conditions.

It also initiate some doctors feared patients could be negatively impacted by information they were expected to live less than half a year.

It recommended the command scrap the six-month rule and adopt a new definition, based on incoming law in Scotland, which permits clinicians to use their own judgment to certify whether a patient is terminally ill.

A more than half of GPs told the Royal College of General Practitioners that they would beam this change, the report said.

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