Major change coming TOMORROW means thousands more households will get fast-tracked benefits

A major change coming tomorrow means thousands more households will have their benefit applications fast-tracked.

Terminally-ill people will be able to get their payments six months sooner from Monday, April 4.

People who are diagnosed as being in their final year of life will be fast-tracked through the system.

Currently, claimants have to have a six-month prognosis to get faster access to benefits.

The shake-up means patients can get payments six months earlier.

Announcing the change last July, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said those eligible will not have to undergo face-to-face assessments.


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They will not be subject to a waiting period and in the majority of cases will receive the highest rate of benefits.

The changes coming next week will only apply to Universal Credit and Employment Support Allowance (ESA) claims initially.

But the government has plans to extend it to Personal Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance in the future.

It said those benefits will be fast-tracked "when parliamentary time allows".

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Campaigners welcomed the change when it was announced last year.

But they urged the government to go further and include the other benefits as soon as possible.

Matthew Reed, chief executive of the end of life charity Marie Curie, said: "This will help ensure that more dying people can concentrate on making the most of the limited time they have left, rather than worrying about their finances."

Sally Light, chief executive of the Motor Neurone Disease Association added that the change will allow more people to " access the support they need swiftly and sensitively, without the need for a face-to-face assessment".

"This is an important first step and we hope that this positive change can be enacted for other applicable benefits as soon as possible," she said.

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Benefit payments are rising this month – find out how much more you'll get for Universal Credit.

But thousands of households could have their payments stopped unless they act now.

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