Changes announced this week confirm that the current Special Rules for Terminal Illness which fast-track benefit applications for those with a terminal diagnosis of six months is to be replaced with a new 12-month, end of life definition.
The move will ensure that people in the final year of their life will receive vital financial support quicker than they can do at present and at the highest rate through revised Special Rules.
Minister for Disabled People Justin Tomlinson said:
Under the updated rules, clinicians still have discretion and will be supported by a realistic and straightforward definition, which aligns with current NHS practice.
Ministers plan to implement the 12-month end-of-life approach across five DWP benefits, beginning with Universal Credit and Employment Support Allowance next year and Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independence Payment when parliamentary time allows.
It follows a DWP evaluation which heard the views of people nearing the end of their lives, their families and friends, the organisations supporting them and the clinicians involved in their care.
Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of the end of life charity, Marie Curie, said:
Sally Light, CEO of the Motor Neurone Disease Association said: