Large increase in women aged over 60 claiming universal credit and out of work benefits

‘Devastated’: Five-fold increase in women aged 60 and over claiming universal credit and out of work benefits. Exclusive: ‘It is outrageous universal credit offered me a telephone interview to join the army,’ 65-year-old woman says

Ms Thorpe says she had been offered me a telephone interview to join the army at the end of June despite being aged 65 but she quickly realised it was an error due to her being far too old to join the army

Ms Thorpe says she had been offered me a telephone interview to join the army at the end of June despite being aged 65 but she quickly realised it was an error due to her being far too old to join the army 
The number of women aged 60 and over claiming universal credit and out of work benefits increased by almost five times in the last six years – with campaigners attributing this sharp rise to the state pension age increase.

The rise of women making claims for such benefits – which soared from 7,578 to 36,527 between 2013 and 2019 – was almost three times more than men who are aged 60 and over.

In the same time period the number of women aged 60 and over making benefit claims surged, there was an 11 per cent decrease in claims by the total population.

Almost four million women have been affected by the controversial state pension age rise from 60 to 66 for women born after March 1950. The move was accelerated in 2010 and saw them reach parity with men, at 65, in 2018.

Lindsey Thorpe, a 65-year-old who has been forced into claiming universal credit since being hit by the state pension age hike, told The Independent the pension rise had “devastated” her life.

Ms Thorpe, who lives in Cheshire, said the government did not inform her about the state pension age rising and school friends who were born in the same year were also totally oblivious to the change.

She said she had been offered me a telephone interview to join the army at the end of June despite being aged 65 but she quickly realised it was an error due to her being far too old to join the army.

She added: “If you can’t make money, then you panic. I expected I would have my state pension by now but instead, I am having to wait another year. I started claiming universal credit in April. I had been on it for a short period in 2018. It is not enough to live on. I’ve had to cut back. I can buy basic vegetables and rice and pasta. But I can’t go on holiday.

“I really need to watch meeting up with friends, going out for meals, or going to the cinema. As things open up, these are things I can’t do. Universal credit always need more information and more evidence. Things I’ve already given them. Universal credit leaves you at the poverty line level. My annual income isn’t more than £12,000. And you have got that constant worry, that ongoing worry and anxiety.

“Even holidays in Britain become something that can’t be considered and are very limited. It suppresses your quality of life. You have to think about everything you’re able to do and [you are] asked to account for everything you do when claiming universal credit. That feels curtailing and constraining. It feels very precarious. You are always thinking about what you are doing, what you are spending and where you can afford to go.”

Ms Mccall, who works part-time as a therapist and specialises in working with veterans going through PTSD, said she cannot afford to see some of her relatives who live in other parts of the UK due to fuel costs.

She said she had discovered a wasp’s nest in the garden this week and needs the council to come in to fix it but this costs £60 and it is likely to “knock out” her budget – meaning she may not have money for food and fuel for the car.

“There is no capacity for emergencies or sudden expected things,” Ms Mccall, who lives alone but has carers who visit to help her, added: “If I don’t have fuel then I can’t go to the shop. I live in a rural area so you have to drive somewhere to get to the shops.”

Terminally ill woman’s fight for PIP

A Terminally ill woman is forced to fight for her benefits.
Lorraine Cox who suffers with Motor Neurone Disease has made a stand to challenge the legal definition of a terminal illness after she she says she was ‘refused access’ to a fast-tracked disability allowance due to the uncertainty over how long she has to live.
She was required to still look for work months after she medically retired because of her condition.

The 40-year-old then underwent a medical assessment for both ‘Universal Credit’ and ‘Personal Independence Payment’ (PIP) due to a rule which states that those who qualify for payment are expected to die within a period of six months.

Ms Cox who was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease back in 2018 told the Herald; “The process of seeking to obtain benefits has continually exacerbated my stress levels and anxiety.


“I have had to constantly fight to get the same entitlement to benefits as other people who are terminally ill. WELCOME TO MY WORLD! “Despite being diagnosed with a terminal illness, I was refused fast track access to additional support and had to show that I was searching for work in order to receive universal credit.”

Lorraine added, “I wouldn’t wish my experience on anyone. I believe the system has failed me and the approach to dealing with people who have a terminal illness needs urgently addressed. I have accepted my path in life now but please don’t put anyone else through it.”

Law Centre NI legal officer, John McCloskey, who is assisting Lorraine in her application explained; “The inclusion of the six month criterion in the legal definition of a terminal illness has been described as cruel.
It is restricting access to support for people at a very difficult time.

“The six month rule was introduced over 30 years ago and was intended to assist people in accessing special terminal illness rules, not restrict them. It is now hurting terminally ill people who have an illness that’s more difficult to accurately predict.

“The Westminster all-party parliamentary group for terminal illness described the six month criterion as ‘unfit for purpose’ and called on the UK government to amend the legal definition of a terminal illness.
“Walter Rader, in his independent review of PIP in Northern Ireland, recommended that the clinical judgement of a medical practitioner should be sufficient to allow special rules to apply. We are now testing whether the application of the six month criterion is in fact lawful.”

DWP issues crucial update on Universal Credit payday error

DWP issues crucial update on Universal Credit payday error that put claimants in debt. The problem with the system’s calculations stripped people of their benefits and has been the subject of court action


The Department for Work and Pensions has issued a crucial update over a Universal Credit ‘double payday’ error that stripped claimants of their benefits.

As many as 85,000 people could have been affected by the issue, though the Government believes the number is far lower. Universal Credit is paid in arrears, based on a claimant’s earnings in the preceding month.

The problem arises when someone receives next month’s wage early because a weekend or bank holiday has brought their normal payday forward.

Universal Credit claimants face a sanction where their benefit can be reduced – or even stopped completely – for breaking the rules, such as failing to look for work or not showing up at jobcentre appointments
Universal Credit sanctions to restart as jobcentres reopen – here’s how it works

DWP systems then calculate that the claimant has been paid twice in one month and stops their benefits for the following month. The system error left many people broke and has led to court action for causing “considerable hardship” for working families.

Work and pensions minister Will Quince says the Government will seek to identify who has been affected by the issue, with “remedial options” being assessed.

The Court of Appeal said the problem possibly affects as many as 85,000 people, but Mr Quince said he believes it to be a “small number” in the “region of 1,500”.

Labour’s Stephen Timms, chairman of the Work and Pensions Select Committee, said he is grateful the Government has “accepted the inevitable” by not paying out for “even more expensive lawyers” to contest the case.


Four working single mothers, who won a High Court challenge against the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (SSWP) in January last year, said the shifting payments left them struggling financially and they had fallen into debt or been forced to rely on food banks.

The Court of Appeal rejected the SSWP’s appeal to the High Court decision earlier this week.

Mr Quince, replying to an urgent question, told the Commons: “I can today confirm my department’s intention not to appeal against the judgment of the Court of Appeal of June 22 2020 in the case of Johnson, Woods, Barrett and Stewart versus the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

“This judgment relates to an appeal made in January 2019 by the department against the High Court decision. “As we told the court, this is a difficult area, identifying claimants is hard. To date we’re aware of 1,000 claimants who have disputed their earnings and fall within this cohort. We’re looking at how we can identify this group further.

“I should stress many people affected by two salary payments will not suffer financial loss as their Universal Credit reward will increase the following month to balance the reduction. “We do, however, recognise the budgeting issues this may have caused and we’re now assessing remedial options.”

On the number of those affected, Mr Quince mentioned the 1,500 figure before adding: “But I’m looking to identify that claimant cohort very carefully. “I understand less than 1,000 UC claimants have notified us over the last 18 months that they may be affected by this, but I do think it’s important to keep this in the context of the 5.2 million claimants to Universal Credit.”

Mr Timms said: “I’m very grateful the minister has accepted the inevitable and isn’t going to be paying out for even more expensive lawyers to appeal this case.

“Surely the department should have given up this fight last year, not waited until the appeal court reached this conclusion.”


read more DWP Court Battles

Review of benefit rules for terminally ill still not complete

Drew Hendry MP.
Drew Hendry MP.

Money to burn!

When I saw this title I thought of all the [unknown] billions that the DWP has wasted inflicting cruelty on the sick, disabled, jobless, homeless, rape victims, single parents and they didn’t care about the collateral damage.

Court case after court case has been won, at WHAT cost? THEY DON’T CARE BECAUSE IT’S NOT THEIR MONEY!!

Universal Credit has to be the biggest of money, I don’t think we’ll truly know how many billions have been lost on that! Suffice to say the DWP has money to burn

DWP wasted £10m on failed IT projects last year!

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The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) had to write off more than £10m of taxpayer money on failed IT projects in the past year, according to its newly published annual report (PDF).

The wasted cash was spread across three costly duds. Accounting for the biggest share was the health transformation programme, which frittered away £4.8m on a contingency IT solution to support Personal Independence Payment assessments, in the event that a new platform wouldn’t be available in time for a transition.

However, work on this contingency solution was halted when it was realised the new digital platform would be ready for transition from March 2020.

DWP publishes digital delivery results and cost of IT blunders

A loss of £3.1m was also recorded for a deal with Computacentre for the purchase of ‘Remote Secure Access and Secure Web Gateway’, a cloud based software service from Palo Alto Technologies. According to the report, which was first spotted by Computer Weekly, it became clear after purchase that the service wasn’t able to support the number of necessary users.

Finally, the “fruitless payments” section notes a misfire on signing up to cyber security product Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (MS Defender). The report notes that over time it became apparent that MS Defender wasn’t compatible with aspects of the Department’s IT environment and had to be abandoned, but unfortunately not before costing the department (and the taxpayer) £2.8m. Altogether, the wasted cash totals £10.7m for IT projects.

The department highlighted the aims of 2019-20 IT projects, which included enabling transformation, improving stability and performance of digital systems, strengthening cyber security, and building a future digital approach in addition to cultivating the sufficient skills to expedite these goals.

In recent months, Covid-fuelled joblessness has sparked a six-fold surge in people applying for Universal Credit, which led to the DWP’s systems becoming log jammed earlier in the year. The annual report notes the need to make quick changes in response to the pandemic, including a more timely delivery of the Confirm your Identity service to fast-track new applications and let Universal Credit applicants prove their identity online.


PIP figures provide fresh evidence of virus deaths

Coronavirus: Government PIP figures provide fresh evidence of virus deaths By John Pring Dqan2TSWkAEnCoe

New government figures have revealed that the proportion of disability benefit claimants who died in April was 15 per cent higher than the previous year, providing fresh evidence of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on disabled people.

The figures, secured by Labour MP Debbie Abrahams, also show a rise of eight per cent in the proportion of personal independence payment (PIP) claimants who died in March, compared with March 2019.

The figures emerged only days after Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures showed disabled* females aged between nine and 64 were 11.3 times more likely to have died due to COVID-19 than non-disabled females in the same age group, while disabled males* between nine and 64 were 6.5 times more likely to have died than non-disabled males.

The ONS figures, reported by Disability News Service (DNS) and later followed up by The Times and other newspapers – but previously largely ignored by the mainstream media – prompted calls for an inquiry into the causes of the disproportionate impact of coronavirus on disabled people.

They also led to calls for the government to take urgent action to protect disabled people from COVID-19 in advance of an expected second wave of the virus.

continue reading at source

Universal Credit 5 week wait: IDS did not want it

Universal Credit 5 week wait grilled by MP: Iain Duncan Smith claims ‘I did not want it’
UNIVERSAL Credit is a social security benefit that was launched to replace and collate previously existing “legacy” benefits. Iain Duncan Smith is considered by many to be the “architect” of Universal Credit and as such, he took questions on it from MPs in Parliament.

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Universal Credit was first announced in 2010 and was then slowly rolled out in 2013. It will eventually completely replace housing benefit, income-related employment and support allowance, income-based jobseeker’s allowance, child tax credit, working tax credit and income support.

While it is not completely obligatory yet, the shift from legacy benefits to Universal Credit hasn’t been entirely smooth. Many legacy benefit claimants have been hesitant to move over to the new system given the reports of some people ending up in debt or receiving less income as a result. New claimants are unlikely to be able to apply for legacy benefits at all. Most people who have fallen on financially hard times will likely be guided towards Universal Credit.

Once a person puts through a claim for Universal Credit, they will have to wait five weeks for the initial payment to come through. Iain Duncan Smith was questioned on this yesterday: “Do you regret, Sir Iain, that the six week and now the five week wait is also giving people a negative impression of UC before they experience it?” He seemed quite defensive in his response: “It was not my plan, I did not want it. “Six weeks or five weeks for that matter. “I understand the problems of obviously making sure everyone gets on and gets properly assessed. “But, the original plan as I think the others have said, was a maximum of a four week wait and we thought that covered it all. “It was a decision made after the 2015 election”.

It should be noted that if claimants really can’t wait five weeks for their first payment they can apply for an advance loan. THAT HAS TO BE PAID BACK!!!

An advance payment can be applied for if the claimant is in financial hardship and needs money urgently for essentials such as rent or food.

To apply for this advance a person can:

  • Speak to their Jobcentre Plus work coach
  • Apply through their online account
  • Call the Universal Credit helpline

If the advance is awarded, it may be able to cover up to 100 percent of the claimants estimated Universal Credit payment. IT will then need to be repaid back to the government and deductions will be made from future Universal Credit payments until it is completely repaid.

A claimant should think carefully before requesting an advance however. The advance will need to be repaid even if the claimant comes off Universal Credit and DWP could contact a person’s employer to get debt collection agencies involved to retrieve the money owed.


Where to go for benefits help

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Tory policies have killed a quarter of a million people in the last decade

Austerity deaths and COVID policies have sent tens of thousands to an early grave.

A decade of Tory austerity, coupled with the more recent COVID-19 mismanagement, has killed over 250,000 people, an exclusive TLE investigation has revealed.

More than 100,000 people have died following social security cuts, while around 120,000 perished due to reductions in health and social spending and experts have predicted that the UK’s COVID-related death toll of circa 60,000 is double the number it needed to be.

Coupled with the tens of thousands of lives cut short by a failure by successive governments to impose tougher legislation to tackle air pollution and you have a pretty grim picture.

Why is the Work Capability Assessment Costing Britain More Than it Saves?

Social security deaths: “Cover-up”

As part of Tory-Liberal coalition and later Tory government “reforms,” unprecedented numbers of social security claims were denied or terminated. Between March 2014 and February 2017, 119,590 deaths were recorded by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The deceased had recently been “flowed off” Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance, and/or Employment Support Allowance. Many died as a direct result: Stress triggered fatal heart-attacks, strokes, and seizures; significant numbers of claimants with depression killed themselves; anxiety shortened the lives of terminally-ill people; and some starved to death. In the same period, life expectancy declined. Consider the following cases as a tiny sample of the broader toll:

After his social security was terminated, Mark Wood (44) of Oxfordshire was found dead, weighing five stone. Likewise, Errol Graham (57) died in his Nottingham flat with no gas or electricity, weighing four-and-a-half-stone.

TORIES: And the cost of a life

Forty-nine-year-old James Oliver’s death in Hastings from chronic liver disease was accelerated by the stress caused by the DWP’s refusal to award social security. His brother, David Smith, says that James sank into despair: “He just downed more or less anything he could lay his hands on.” The death of Moira Drury (61) of Essex, who had cancer, was also hastened by the torment. Her daughter Nichole said: “She told me the day before she died that the stress of having her benefits removed contributed to her decline.”

David Barr (28) of Fife jumped from the Forth Road Bridge after his money was stopped. Leanne Chambers (30) drowned herself in the River Wear, Durham, in fear of an impending Work Capability Assessment. Citing data protection, between 2015 and 2020, the DWP destroyed 50 internal reviews into claimants’ suicides. Linda Cooksey, the sister of the blind and agoraphobic suicide victim, Tim Salter, describes it as a “cover-up.”

Health and social care cuts: “Economic murder”

In addition to the above, successive Tory governments cut back on health and social care. A few years ago, the BMJ published a study suggesting that 120,000 people in England alone had died and would die between 2010 and 2020 as a result of health and social care cuts. DWP cuts killed people of all ages. Health and social spending reductions mainly ended the lives of the over-60s.

According to the study, between 2001 and 2010 under Labour PMs Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, average per capita health spending increased by 3.8 percent a year. Deaths decreased by 0.77 percent. Between 2010 and 2015 under the Tory-Liberal coalition, annual spending increased by just 0.4 percent and excess annual mortality increased by 0.87 percent. The majority of the estimated 45,000 excess deaths between 2010 and 2014 occurred in care homes.

Since 2010, the Tories have cut local social care budgets by 9 percent per person. Age UK found that by 2019, 1.3m pensioners, including those who could afford to pay, were waiting for care home vacancies. Between June 2017 and December 2019, 74,000 elderly people in England alone died without receiving the social care they needed. Care providers typically say that applicants either do not meet eligibility requirements or the applicants are passed to other service providers.

Just a few DWP victims:

Consider the effects of cuts to the health system.

Over 5,000 people died between 2016 and 2019 on hospital trolleys after waiting between six and 11 hours for treatment. Donald Driver (84) of Coventry died after falling from a trolley, following a six-hour wait: “had my father been prioritised … [he] would still be here,” said his daughter, Emma. Ambulance response times are worsening. Joseph Edge (74) of Denbighshire, Wales, died of a heart-attack after waiting 16 hours for an ambulance. In addition, between 2013 and 2017, appointment waiting times increased by 50 percent and preventable deaths increased by a quarter. Norma Smith (57) of Cumbria died of a heart-attack and from oesophageal cancer, following a seven-month wait to see an ear, nose, and throat specialist.

Cambridge Professor Lawrence P. King, who participated in the BMJ study, described austerity as “a public health disaster. It is not an exaggeration to call it economic murder.”

Coronavirus: Government PIP figures provide fresh evidence of virus deaths

Covid-19: “Superman”

The decade of Tory-Liberal cuts brought much of the UK to the brink of collapse. Then COVID-19 struck. The Tory cult of ultra-neoliberalism’s first reaction was to save profits (“the economy”) by carrying on as normal.

“[W]hen there is a risk that new diseases such as coronavirus will trigger a panic and a desire for market segregation that go beyond what is medically rational,” Boris Johnson told businesses in February, “humanity needs some government somewhere that is willing at least to make the case powerfully for freedom of exchange.” Johnson said that the UK (meaning the poor and vulnerable) would be that country: “ready to take off its Clark Kent spectacles and leap into the phone booth and emerge with its cloak flowing.”

Superman Johnson turned out to be a COVID super-spreader, boasting on 3 March, and in defiance of local guidelines for physical contact: “I was at a hospital where there were a few coronavirus patients and I shook hands with everybody.” Some in Johnson’s cabinet, as well as his scientific advisors, subsequently caught COVID. Following the alleged advice of Dominic Cummings (which he and the government deny), namely “herd immunity …if that means some pensioners die, too bad,” it was as late as 23 March that the UK officially locked-down. The Johnson government also refused to follow World Health Organization guidelines on tracking, testing, and tracing.

By June, the Office for National Statistics reported 63,000 excess deaths, the majority of which were linked to coronavirus and its effects. In the US, research suggests that early lockdowns could have prevented significant rates of mortality. In the UK, Professor John Edmunds of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies said: “I wish we had gone into lockdown earlier. That has cost a lot of lives.” Two days later, Professor Neil Ferguson, one of the original modellers at Imperial College London, told the Science and Technology Committee: “had we introduced lockdown measures a week earlier, we would have reduced the final death toll by at least a half.”

Ergo, the Johnson administration is responsible for at least 30,000 COVID-related fatalities.


also see

UK REPORT: 4.5 million people in deep poverty

A report has shown 4.5 million people are living in ‘deep poverty’ in the UK. The proportion of the UK population in ‘deep poverty’ has risen from 5% to 7% over the last two decades, the Social Metrics Commission said.

Around 4.5 million people are experiencing the deepest levels of poverty in the UK and have been hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, a commission has found.

The proportion of the UK population in “deep poverty” has risen more than a third from 5% to 7% over the last two decades, while the overall poverty rate has remained largely unchanged, the Social Metrics Commission (SMC) said.

It means there are 1.7 million more people in deep poverty – living on less than half of what they need to stay above the poverty line – compared to roughly 20 years ago. And this group is being disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic, it added.

22% Overall UK poverty rate – Social Metrics Commission

The SMC collected data between April 2018 and March 2019 to provide a comprehensive account of poverty in the UK.

In response to the Covid-19 outbreak, it then worked with YouGov to poll almost 80,000 people in Britain during March and May 2020.

Before the outbreak, it found there were 4.5 million people living in deep poverty, up from 2.8 million in 2000-2001. Of these, 2.4 million were found to be in “persistent poverty” which has lasted for at least two of the last three years.

The overall UK poverty rate has remained stable, dropping from 23% to 22% over the same period.

  • This equates to 14.4 million people living in poverty before the Covid-19 crisis including 4.5 million children; 8.5 million working-age adults; and 1.3 million pension-age adults.
  • Poverty rates were highest amongst families with children, and higher for black and minority ethnic families.
  • The highest poverty rate was 23% in Wales, compared to 22% in England, 21% in Northern Ireland, and 19% in Scotland.
  • The highest poverty rates in England were in London (29%) and the North East (26%).

Overall, more than a quarter (26%) of those in deep poverty have experienced a negative change in their earnings or employment status since the coronavirus outbreak.

Around two in three (65%) of adults employed and in deep poverty prior to the pandemic have experienced reduced hours or earnings, been furloughed or laid off.

This compares to around one in three (35%) of adult employees living more than 20% above the poverty line. And more than a third (36%) have had their hours or pay reduced, compared to 22% of those living more than 20% above the poverty line.

The research shows those living in poverty or just above the poverty line have also been disproportionately affected. Twelve per cent of this group have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic, compared to 7% of those living more than 20% above the poverty line.

It is extremely concerning that the proportion of people experiencing deep poverty has risen since the millennium, through governments of all colour

SMC chairwoman Baroness Philippa Stroud said: “It is extremely concerning that the proportion of people experiencing deep poverty has risen since the millennium, through governments of all colour, and is likely to continue to increase as the country struggles with the ongoing effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our analysis indicates a picture where, over the last 20 years, rising employment rates for those in poverty were helping families move out of deep poverty, so they were more likely to be able to escape poverty in the future.

“A reversal of this employment success story will likely lead to many of those already experiencing poverty moving into deeper poverty. “Supporting employment, especially for those on the lowest incomes, must remain a key priority of Government.” However, the report also shows some positive developments. HOW????

The poverty rate for children and pension-age adults has plateaued after rising for three years, it found. And the proportion of people in poverty who live in lone-parent or single-pensioner families has fallen from 24% and 7% respectively in 2000/01 to 17% and 5%.

A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “We’re committed to supporting the most vulnerable in society and currently spend a record £95 billion a year on our safety net welfare system.

“We know some people are struggling in these unprecedented times and have injected over £6.5 billion into the welfare system, including increasing Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit by up to £1,040 a year as well as increasing Local Housing Allowance rates, rolling out income protection schemes, mortgage holidays and additional support for renters.

“This builds on action already taken to support low paid families such as raising the living wage, uplifting benefits by inflation and increasing work incentives.”


PIP: Just how long is a piece of string?


PIP claim: Benefit rules for the terminally ill are to finally change – DWP insists ‘shortly’ ‘shortly’ what does that mean!!!!

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PIP – Personal Independence Payment is a payment which replaces the Disability Living Allowance (DLA). Today, DWP minister Justin Tomlinson told MPs a “change” to certain rules for PIP claims is to be delivered “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.

Currently, a person must be aged 16 or older and usually have not reached state pension age. Eligibility rules also state they must have a health condition or disability “where you:

  • Have had difficulties with daily living or getting around (or both) for three months
  • Expect these difficulties to continue for at least nine months”.
PIP claim: Justine Tomlinson MP was asked about the changes to PIP in the House of Commons
“SHORTLY” How long is a piece of string!

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.

PIP claim: Chris Evans MP asked about the changes to PIP in the House of Commons

PIP claim: Chris Evans MP asked about the changes to PIP in the House of Commons. He said that others with the condition are having to go through the standard prodecures.

“Motor neurone disease is an utterly wicked, terrible disease,” he said. “Those who have it are locked in and see their bodies waste away, while their families watch their loved ones slowly slide away.

Mr Tomlinson today went on to assure changes would be coming into effect.

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.”


Where to go for benefits help