Thursday, November 21, 2019
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MP blasts universal credit ‘cruelty’ as terminally ill are forced to fight for benefits

"People who are dying should not be forced to go to appointments with work coaches", says Drew Hendry.

People with terminal illnesses are being forced to jump through hoops to get the financial support they are rightly entitled to, an Inverness MP has claimed.

SNP MP Drew Hendry has lashed out at the Tory Government’s embattled Universal Credit programme, labeling the new benefit system as the “worst kind of postcode lottery”, whilst claiming that the terminally ill are being forced to attend Jobcentre appointments.

Claimants who have less than six months to live should be fast-tracked through the application process, but Mr Hendry said this isn’t happening in areas where universal credit has been rolled-out.

Meanwhile, terminally ill claimants who are expected to live longer than six months are obliged to go through the same, drawn-out application process as other universal credit claimants.

Mr Hendry said that despite having raised the issue several times in Parliament, including three times at PMQ’s, the UK Government has so far failed to act to ensure that terminally ill claimants are given access to crucial financial support as quickly as possible.

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Mr Hendry said: “Under existing UK government rules, people with conditions such as terminal heart failure, motor neurone disease and other terminal conditions need to apply for social security in the usual way and are subject to the normal assessments, including work assessments.

“They are quite simply not considered terminal enough – this policy exposes a Tory government at its very worst and they are wilfully [sic] failing families dealing with the trauma of terminal illness.

“People who are dying should not be forced to go to appointments with work coaches, nor should they have to spend their last month’s fighting for much needed financial support.

“Even those who fall under the UK government’s ‘six months to live’ definition are subjected to heart-breaking waits for their financial support.”

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