Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, has welcomed the news off a reform of the benefit system for terminally ill people after three years of campaigning alongside national charities.
In response to the Scrap 6 Months campaign led by the Motor Neurone Disease Association and Marie Curie and supported by campaigners across the area, the Government has pledged to make it easier for people with a terminal illness to get fast-track access to financial support.
Crucially, it has said it will scrap the rule which stipulated that people must prove they have six months or less to live before receiving fast-track access to the benefits many desperately need. Under the new rules, people will now be able to apply for benefits using the Special Rules for Terminal Illness if their health professional says they may die within 12 months.
Like many terminal illnesses, motor neurone disease (MND) is difficult to predict and many people diagnosed with the disease are unable to access the fast-track process for claiming benefits leaving them struggling financially at what is already an incredibly difficult time.
Campaigner and Local Branch Chair Greg Broadhurst joined the campaign from it’s formal launch in 2018 and worked closely with MP’s across Greater Manchester over the last four years, following the initial news of devolved changes in Scotland.
Greg Broadhurst said today:
I welcome the news of the changes, which have followed a long campaign. We hope the changes will make a considerable difference and ease the previous difficulties we have seen before for families dealing with Motor Neurone Disease.
I wish to thank the supportive MP’s, right across Greater Manchester, for their help and support for the campaign. We are incredibly grateful for the cross party support, and the time they have invested in working with us. While the announcement is welcomed, there must be no delay in implementing changes, so no one else has to wait for the vital financial support they need.
Andrew Gwynne said:
I’m so pleased the ‘scrap the six months’ campaign has been successful.
The measure was so cruel by barring so many terminally ill people from fast track access to benefits at just the point in their lives they needed that support so much. I’m grateful to MND, Marie Curie and other health charities for the work they’ve done to win this battle.
Common sense prevailed because of them.