Delays in benefits affects terminally ill
- 05 Nov
Warnings from Macmillan Cancer Support say that hundreds of terminally ill cancer patients can face waiting weeks or even months for their income support due to the new payments system.
The charity has described the situation the terminally ill patients find themselves in as "appalling".
Macmillan says that early indications from their advisers working in hospitals and citizens advice bureaux are that the changes have left hundreds without support, reports the BBC.
A spokeswoman for the DWP have said that under the new PIPs, terminally ill cancer patients were "fast-tracked" whereas under the previous system claimants had to fill in a 40-page form.
"Macmillan aren't comparing like with like as DLA and PIP are completely different benefits with different claim processes. [The charity has] acknowledged that improvements in the system have been made since the new benefit was introduced in April and we continue to work with them to further streamline the process."
In an interview with BBC Radio 4 Mike Hobday, Macmillan's director of policy says: "The principle of a fast-track process for terminally ill patients... is still there but the fact that the processing time has gone from eight-to-10 days to eight-to-10 weeks really is appalling."
He said the charity was talking to DWP officials about the delays but added there was "no sign of a commitment to what the timescale should be".
Some terminally ill patients without cancer who qualify for the enhanced PIP rate are also "fast-tracked" whilst not requiring a face-to-face consultation.
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