Last week I met with Judith Rice from the South East Wales MND Association to discuss the charity’s ‘PIP Summer of Action.’
The MND Association are calling on MPs to understand that claiming PIP (Personal Independence Payment) can be a traumatic experience for people with MND – filling in a long form, attending a face-to-face assessment and waiting a long time for the benefit to arrive (or being refused PIP entirely).
One way of avoiding these problems is for people with MND to claim PIP under the Special Rules for Terminal Illness (SRTI). This is a fast-track process for people who are terminally ill and does not require people to fill in a long form, attend a face-to-face assessment or wait months to receive their benefit. However, to be eligible to claim under the SRTI, there has to be a reasonable expectation of death within six months. This strict time-limit doesn’t work for people with unpredictable terminal illnesses like MND. The Scottish Government has recognised this and is changing the definition of a terminal illness in Scotland to one based on clinical judgement. The MND Association would like to see this policy change implemented across the rest of the UK.