DWP confirms change to six-month rule for terminally ill benefit claims

Following a review of the rule that states terminally ill patients must have six months or less to live in order to ‘fast track’ their claim to certain benefits, the Department of Work and Pensions is now ‘working at great speed’ to bring forward much-needed changes to the six-month rule.

DWP Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work Justin Tomlinson has confirmed that the six-month rule for terminally ill benefit claimants is to be changed once the government’s review of special rules for the terminally ill has been completed.

In order to access the ‘fast track’ benefits, a medical professional must complete a DS1500 form stating that death would be ‘not unexpected’ within six months. In practice, this can prove tricky for certain illnesses including mesothelioma, which although always terminal, does not necessarily result in death within six months of diagnosis.

Mesothelioma UK is pleased that a review is taking place as the six-month rule does not accurately reflect the way people with terminal illnesses such as mesothelioma live today. There are no details about what the changes will be but we will be keeping abreast of the situation and will share updates as and when there are any.

If you have any questions about benefit claims, please call our information line on 0800 169 2409 and we can put you in touch with one of our dedicated benefits advisors.