DWP extends definition of terminally ill for benefits claims

The Department of Work and Pensions announced in July 2021 that it would extend the definition of terminally ill from 6 to 12 months.

‘The Minister for Disabled People has announced the Department’s intention to make changes as a result of the evaluation. We will legislate to introduce a 12-month, end of life eligibility definition for the Special Rules. When implemented, where a clinician considers someone to be in their final year of life, they will be able to make fast-tracked claims to the benefits system.’

The actual legislation has not yet been enacted so the rule remains at six months for now. Mesothelioma UK welcomes the forthcoming change in the rules we would prefer to see any patient who is given a terminal diagnosis allowed access to the Special Rules claims process, regardless of their prognosis.

The situation in Scotland is more complex. Changes are on the way and are expected to start rolling out in 2022. Mesothelioma UK will provide further updates as information becomes available.