The rights of terminally ill people will be fast tracked by winning the Daily Express campaign

Previously, only people with less than six months of life could claim under the “Special Rule,” meaning many people with unpredictable conditions were excluded. Disability Minister Chloe Smith said: “We want to ensure those in the last year of life have quicker access to important financial supports.

“We’ve been listening to those with terminal illnesses, as well as their families and friends, and we’re bringing a shift to the support needed during the most challenging of times.”

The change was first promised last summer after a three-year battle between charity Marie Curie and the Motor Neuropathy Association.

The Journal joined the battle in January 2019 with our Compassion for the Dead crusade, highlighting the many cases of patients being abandoned by the system.

Our campaign argues that the previous six-month criterion is unfair and leaves many people with unpredictable financial hardship when they should be enjoying the rest of their time with loved ones.

The initial change will only apply to General Credit and Employment and Support Allowance.

The DWP says it will be expanded to Individual Independence Payments, Disability Living Allowances and Attendance Allowance “as soon as time allows.”

Those who qualify also won’t be subject to an in-person assessment or waiting time, and the majority will receive the highest rates of financial assistance.

Matthew Reed, executive director of Marie Curie, said: “Following the announcement over the summer and after years of campaigning for this change to be applied to the dying, we are pleased to see this next step in place. for Universal Credit and ESA claimants.

“This will ensure many dying people can focus on making the most of the limited time they have left, rather than worrying about their finances.”

Sally Light, chief executive officer of MNDA, also welcomed the announcement. “This change will allow more people living with complex and unpredictable end-stage illnesses like motor neurone disease to access the support they need quickly and sensitively,” she said. sharp without direct evaluation.

“This is an important first step, and we hope that this positive change can be made for other adoption benefits as soon as possible.”

Chloe Smith’s comment

A terminal diagnosis is a devastating blow to anyone, and it’s important for patients and their families that in their final days, they don’t have to worry about finances.

To help relieve stress and pressure, we offer quick access to benefits and, in most cases, pay top rates to sad people who are expected to live six months or more. down.

From April 4, I am pleased to announce that we are extending this six-month period for General Credit and Employment Support Allowance claimants to 12 months, bringing the rules into line with current definition of end of life used in the NHS.

I hope this brings comfort to the thousands of people who will benefit from these changes. It is true that people in such difficult circumstances can access vital support quickly.

I would also like to thank the clinicians, charities, my colleagues, affected people and readers of the Daily Express, who contributed to the assessment of thinking in the field. This has helped shape a more compassionate policy for people in their final year of life.

• Chloe Smith is a Tory Member of Parliament for Norwich North and Minister for Disability, Health and Work.

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