Hi - I’ve posted this in the “Living With Secondary Breast Cancer” section of the Forum, as it’s probably most relevant there, but thought I’d also put it here, as it may impact on people who don’t read the “secondaries” sections. There are a lot of parts of the Government’s Welfare Reform Bill that will have an effect on us, including the proposal that Employment Support Allowance (replacing incapacity benefit for people aged 21-64) be means-tested for people with cancer after one year, and if you live with someone who is earning £7,500 per year, your eligibility will end, no matter how many years you’ve paid into the system.
As I’m now retired, my major concern is about the proposed changes to Disability Living Allowance (DLA), which many of us can claim to meet the extra costs of care and mobility if we meet the eligibility criteria, or under “Special Rules” if we are terminally ill.
You may know that the Government is proposing in its Welfare Reform Bill to replace DLA with a new benefit Personal Independence Payment (PIP), starting next year. Many sick & disabled people in the UK are very concerned that the Government’s intention to cut the budget for this type of benefit by 20% will mean fewer of us being eligible, and the draft criteria seem to bear this out.
A group that has been involved in examining the Welfare Reform Bill have put together a simplified summary of the current draft criteria: youngspartacus.files.wordpress.c … format.pdf. The Department for Work & Pensions (DWP), that manages these benefits, has set up a consultation to find out what we think about the changes. The full DWP current draft criteria document is available on their website: dwp.gov.uk/docs/pip-second-d … ations.pdf.
I’m not sure where we’ll fit into all of this, as I haven’t read all of the eligibility criteria as yet - I’m sure BCC will also be looking at this, especially in view of the numbers of us currently receiving DLA under the “Special Rules” DS1500 process. Hopefully, the capacity to claim via a DS1500 will be transferred to PIP, but the Government is intent on using this change to make savings - there are no details, so nothing is certain.
I’m worried that we might lose our benefits next year, benefits that we rely on to pay for the extra costs of the effects of secondary breast cancer and its treatments.
I’d be interested to hear what you think.