Back in 2011, Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs joined together to reject an amendment which would have exempted terminally ill cancer patients from benefit cuts.
They decided that if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness such as cancer – but have been given more than 6 months to live – you will have to work or starve.
Here’s a previous blogpost about that:
This decision by coalition MPs was so outrageous that after intense lobbying, there were some concessions made by the government.
However, in a bizarre piece of upside-down DWP logic, it now seems that if you have less than 6 months to live – you will be refused benefits.
This is from the Chester and Ellesmere Port Foodbank blog:
Jenny came to the Chester and Ellesmere Port Foodbank last month, having been diagnosed with terminal Cancer. Her prognosis was three to six months. She already suffered with several chronic illnesses preventing her from working over the last two years and was in receipt of Disability Living Allowance. Having no family she was trying to “put her house in order”, ensuring all her bills were paid and saving up for her funeral. Her DLA was stopped; the reason given was that as she was not expected to survive the required time, she did not qualify for this benefit! She came to the Foodbank not for herself but to bring a neighbour who had mental health issues and short term memory problems. He had been 30 minutes late for his appointment at the Benefit office (he had forgotten the time!) and had therefore been sanctioned. He had not eaten for three days. They were both given a meal and the time to talk of their problems and referred to the appropriate agencies for food vouchers and further support and help. Several weeks later Jenny came to the Foodbank to thank everyone for the help and food that was given and the kindness and support that was shown in their time of need. Jenny died three weeks later.
So let’s be clear about this – if you are terminally ill and you don’t have the financial means to keep yourself for the remainder of your life – you will have to find work or starve.
I know some people will argue that Jenny could have appealed the decision which would have been overturned, or she made a mistake when she was filling in the forms which could have been rectified, or the DWP made an honest mistake themselves and Jenny should have gone back to them and argued her case harder. But she can’t now, can she?
Because she’s dead.
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