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Disability Benefits: End-of-life Support

Volume 698: debated on Thursday 8 July 2021

The Government are committed to supporting people nearing the end of their lives. The current Special Rules for Terminal Illness (SRTI) have been in place, unchanged since 1990 and the support they provide to people who find themselves in this terrible situation is crucial.

In response to requests for a review of the special rules the Department for Work and Pensions undertook a wide-ranging evaluation into how the benefits system in Great Britain supports those nearing the end of their lives. I can now provide honourable Members with an update on the outcome of the evaluation.

We have listened to the views of people nearing the end of their lives, their families and friends, the organisations supporting them and the healthcare professionals involved in their care, and I would like to thank all who contributed their views on this important subject.

I am today setting out the Department’s intention to replace the current 6 month rule with a 12 month, end of life approach. This will mirror the current definition of end of life used across the NHS and ensure that people receive vital support through the special rules six months earlier than they do now. Supporting people nearing the end of their lives is a priority for my Department and I am pleased to be taking this step forward. The evaluation report will be published alongside the upcoming health & disability green paper.