Bassetlaw MP welcomes plans to change the benefits system for terminally ill people

The Basstelaw MP has welcomed Government reforms that will make it easier for people with terminal illness to get faster access to financial support.

By Natalie Wakefield
Friday, 16th July 2021, 12:00 pm
Brendan Clarke-Smith, Bassetlaw MP.
Brendan Clarke-Smith, Bassetlaw MP.

Brendan Clarke-Smith welcomed plans to change the benefits system for terminally ill people, which follow three years of campaigning by the Motor Neurone Disease Association and Marie Curie.

The Scrap 6 Months campaign prompted a Government pledge to axe a rule stating that claimants must prove they had six months or less to live.

But terminal illnesses such as MND are difficult to predict, leaving many people unable to access the fast-track process for claiming benefits.

Now, people will qualify for fast-track access if they are given a prognosis of up to a year.

Mr Clarke-Smith joined the campaign as part of his work as vice chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Motor Neurone Disease.

He welcomed the commitment for change detailed in a review carried out by the Department for Work and Pensions, and is now urging the Government to implement this change as soon as possible.

He said: “This is a move I welcome and I would like to thank the Department for Work and Pensions for working with groups such as the MND Association and Marie Curie to make this a reality, as well as the thousands who supported this campaign.

“This will make a big difference to constituents in Bassetlaw with MND or other terminal illnesses and also their families, easing financial concerns and allowing them to enjoy the time they have left.”

Chief executive of the MND Association, Sally Light, said: “We would like to thank those MPs who have supported this really important campaign over the last three years.

“While it remains the case that giving an accurate prognosis for someone living with MND is near impossible, we believe the proposed change will mean the vast majority of people with MND will be able to access the fast-track process.”

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