I’m delighted that after three years of hard campaigning, the government has finally agreed to reform the benefits system for terminally ill people.
I lost a close friend to motor neurone disease (MND) and was determined others shouldn’t have to face financial worries while living with a terminal illness.
Thankfully, in response to the ‘Scrap 6 Months’ campaign, the government has pledged to make it easier for people with a terminal illness to get fast-track access to financial support, including making it easier for clinicians to confirm eligibility. Crucially the government has said it will reform the rule which stipulated that people must prove they have six months or less to live before receiving fast-track access to the benefits many desperately need.
Like many terminal illnesses, MND is difficult to predict and many people diagnosed with the disease are unable to access the fast-track process for claiming benefits leaving them struggling financially at what is already an incredibly difficult time.
Under the new rules, people will now qualify for fast-track access if they are given a prognosis of up to a year.
This will make a huge difference to people with life-limiting conditions, easing financial worries in the last months of their lives and crucially allowing people to enjoy the time they have left with the people who matter to them. However our fight isn’t over – we now need to push the government to implement this change as soon as possible.