Midlothian MP calls for improved benefit access for dying people

Tuesday February 18th 2020

Owen-Thompson-MP

Owen Thompson MP supporting the Marie Curie and Motor Neurone Association campaign.

Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

Owen Thompson MP has called for the scrapping of the six month rule, where terminally ill people have to prove they have six months or less to live in order to access faster and higher tier benefits.

The Midlothian MP was appointed a vice convener of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Terminal Illness this week. He was speaking in support of The Marie Curie and Motor Neurone Disease Association campaign, #Scrap6Months.

Speaking at the APPG event in parliament, Owen said:

“Nobody who is dying should have to prove they have six months to live, just to get a wee bit better and faster support.

“People facing a terminal diagnosis should be treated with dignity and respect by a swift and supportive benefits process. It is hard to believe that many dying people are still being forced to prove they are unfit for work and waste time jumping through hoops to access the welfare benefits they need.

“No benefits system should add extra stress and financial struggles to the lives of people coming to terms with a terminal illness. There is no clinical basis for the arbitrary six month rule and this law has to be scrapped.

“I urge the UK Government to show some compassion and change the system to allow anyone with a terminal diagnosis fast track access to benefits.

“This is an issue that’s close to my heart and I will do everything I can to support the scrap six months campaign led by Marie Curie and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.”

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