Citizens Advice Scotland has welcomed the UK government’s review of benefits for terminally ill people.
People who have been given less than six months to live are currently entitled to a fast-tracked benefit. However, the current system was recently criticised by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Terminal Illness on the grounds that the six-month rule, introduced into law 30 years ago, means terminally ill people who are expected to live longer than half a year are missing out on having their benefits claims fast-tracked and simplified.
Responding to this morning’s announcement of a review, CAS Social Justice spokesperson Rob Gowans said,
“This is a positive move. Scotland’s Citizens Advice network sees hundreds of thousands of cases every year, including a number of people who are terminally ill and are required to go through a lengthy and stressful assessment process for disability benefits at a time when they are already facing great challenges in their lives.
“We successfully pushed for changes to the law in Scotland to remove the arbitrary rule that someone must only have six months to live to qualify for the fast-track process. We encourage the UK Government to introduce a similar system – based on clinical judgement rather than time limits – for the disability benefits it has responsibility for.”