PIP claim: Benefit rules for terminally ill to finally change – DWP insists 'shortly'

MPs put questions to Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey and her team of Department of Work and Pension (DWP) ministers today in the House of Commons. During the Work and Pensions Questions, Chris Evans MP asked Justin Tomlinson about the current six-month life expectancy rule relating to claiming PIP under Special Rules for Terminal Illness.

Usually, they will need to have lived in England, Scotland or Wales for at least two of the last three years, and be in one of these countries when they apply.

For terminal illness, there are different rules when it comes to claiming PIP. states that “you can claim PIP if:

  • Your doctor or a medical professional has said you might have less than six months to live
  • You are aged 16 or over and usually have not reached state pension age”.


Charities have urged for reform to the rules, saying the six-month rule forces people to “prove they have six months left to live”.

A review into the system was launched last year.

Today, Mr Tomlinson said that the Department had made “good progress”, adding that they “expect to be able to provide an update on the outcome of the evaluation shortly”.

Demanding reform in the House of Commons today, Mr Evans said that only 50 percent of people diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease can claim under the PIP speical rules due to the six-month life expectancy rule.

He added that the coronavirus crisis had resulted in a delay in the evaluation, but a change was to be brought forward “shortly”.

The minister said: “The Secretary of State and I are passionate about making changes: it will not be the status quo.

“Covid-19 caused a delay to the final part of the consultation with the medical professionals, but we will bring forward a change shortly.”


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