New Government Bill extends end of life financial support

Thousands more people nearing the end of their life will have faster access to financial support through the benefits system thanks to a change of rules outlined in the Queen’s Speech.

The Social Security (Special Rules for End of Life) Bill, introduced in parliament earlier this week, means people thought to be in the final year of their life will be able to receive vital support six months earlier than they were able to previously.

The extended fast-track access means those eligible are not subject to a face-to-face assessment, and in the majority of cases they receive the highest rate of benefits.

Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work Chloe Smith MP said:

People nearing the end of their life should be able to focus on sharing the valuable time they have left with the loved ones who matter most to them.

These changes will help by alleviating financial concerns, giving people fast-track access to support in the most challenging of times.

Last month, the same changes were introduced for people on Universal Credit and Employment and Support Allowance.

By changing to a 12-month definition, the Bill aligns the Government with the NHS approach to end-of-life care. This involves identifying patients in their final year of life and thinking about their holistic needs, including financial support.

Additional information

  • Changes to Special Rules for End of Life came into effect last month for people on Universal Credit and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).
  • The new Bill will make similar changes to Personal Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance in this parliamentary session.

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