MP secures commitment to reform welfare support for terminally ill people
James Wild MP for North West Norfolk has called on the government to scrap the six month rule and make it easier for anyone with a terminal illness to get the benefits they need.
At the moment the special rules for terminal illness that enable fast access to benefits only apply if an individual has been given a diagnosis that they have six months or less to live. Anyone with a longer prognosis or unpredictable illness such as Motor Neurone Disease is excluded.
In July 2019 the government announced a review into the way terminally ill people are supported by the welfare system.
Since he was elected, James has been approached by constituents raising concerns about the current rules and he has joined the Motor Neurone Disease All Party Group which is supporting the #Scrap6months campaign. He has met family members who have described the additional stress that the current rules involve.
Speaking at Department for Work and Pensions questions in Parliament on 9 March, James said:
“My North West Norfolk constituents suffering terminal illness want to see the 6 month rule scrapped so will he continue to work with the Motor Neurone Disease Association, Marie Curie and others to find a solution that works for all of them?”
In response, Justin Tomlinson MP, Minister for Disabled People, Health, and Work, confirmed that the rules would change saying:
“The reason we commissioned this review was because the status quo has to change and we recognise that. I wish to pay tribute to the organisations who have been supporting a thorough review including MND, Marie Curie, Hospice UK, MacMillan, RCN, Sue Ryder, and NHS England”