Charities are calling for those with a terminal diagnosis to get quick access to financial support without having to prove they have less than six months to live. In the latest development, Leader of the House Jacob Rees-Mogg has promised to chase the Department for Work and Pensions and the Treasury to present the findings of a review of the system announced 19 months ago.
In the Commons last week, Labour MP Jessica Morden told him: “In that time, Marie Curie and the Motor Neurone Disease Association estimate that as many as 5,800 people may have died waiting for a benefits decision.
“Please can the Leader of the House chase DWP and the Treasury and tell us what they’re going to do?”
Mr Rees-Mogg said: “I will take this up with both my right honourable friends.”
The pledge was a step forward for the Daily Express’s Compassion For The Dying crusade, which is supporting the charities in their battle to change the law. Ms Morden said dying people “don’t have time to wait – they need action, not more warm words from ministers”.
Susie Rabin of the MND Association said: “Half of people with MND die within two years of diagnosis.
“They don’t have the time to wait.” Mark Jackson of Marie Curie said: “Changing this law is well within the capabilities of this Government.”
The DWP said: “Throughout the pandemic we have continued to ensure fast-track access to benefits for those nearing the end of their lives.”