Graham Stuart, Member of Parliament for Beverley and Holderness, has called for people who are terminally ill to be paid their higher Personal Independence Payment as soon as they receive their decision from the DWP. Currently, when someone claiming Disability Living Allowance (DLA) experiences a change in circumstances, this is treated as a new claim for PIP, with its new criteria. Their DLA payment therefore continues until a decision on PIP has been made and then a further 28 days after the last DLA pay day.
Graham is supporting New Clause 4, an amendment to the Welfare Reform and Work Bill that is currently before the House of Commons. This amendment would enable claimants of DLA who are transferred to PIP due to terminal illness to receive their first PIP payment immediately after being transferred.
Earlier this year, Graham called a debate in Parliament to raise the cases of constituents who had experienced delays in receiving a date for their Personal Independence Payment assessment.
Graham said: “Terminally ill people should not have to wait almost a month to receive the extra money they need to meet the costs of their illness. This is exactly the time when disabled people need the money most, and they are not being given it. I have raised this issue with Ministers and am pressing them to find a solution to this situation.
“Under the current system, people who are moving from DLA to the lower PIP award are given time to adjust to the change in their financial circumstances. This is welcome. However the benefit of the higher PIP award is also being withheld from those whose conditions have deteriorated, especially the terminally ill, and that cannot be right.
“I support the Government’s reforms to disability benefits, as they have concentrated the help where it is most needed. The Government has already supported terminally ill people by fast-tracking their PIP claims and scrapping the need for them to do a face-to-face assessment. I hope they now change the rules, so that terminally ill people can also get their PIP award as soon as a decision has been made.”