Terminally ill benefit claimants asked when they are expected to die

The terminally ill claiming state benefits in Britain are being asked their expected time of death, according to the elected chairman of the work and pensions select committee.

Frank Field, who has contacted the work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith following the shocking revelation said: “There is absolutely no need for this level of intrusive and painful questioning by DWP officials. If I have had two such cases in my constituency in recent weeks; I dread to think how often this is happening around the country.”

The Labour MP learnt of the information from a complaint made to him by residents of his constituency, Birkenhead who were intending to claim for a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) under the “special rules terminally ill” procedure.

A DS 1500 form submitted as part of the protocol for the aforementioned benefit requested details of the diagnosis and asked whether the patient is aware of the severity of their terminal illness. Treatments and clinical findings are also outlined in the form which concludes with a doctor’s signature of approval and confirmation. Decision-makers at the Department for Work and Pensions are not expected to challenge nor question the details of those who have not been told of their terminal illness.

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