Put the fair into welfare
In 2011, the Government announced the biggest shake up of the benefits system for 60 years. The changes, outlined in the Welfare Reform Bill, could have left thousands of people living with cancer without vital financial support when they need it most - for some, pushing them into poverty.
More than 3,000 campaigners supported our campaign calling on the government to ensure that it processed Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claims for people terminally ill with cancer within days, rather than months. I’m delighted to say that we’ve had the fantastic news that the disabilities minister, Mike Penning, announced that they have reduced the waiting time to around 10 days, and are working to get them even lower.
The work doesn’t end here though, and we will continue to work with DWP to ensure the benefits system works for people with cancer.
That’s why we launched our ‘put the fair into welfare’ campaign. Thousands of you have supported us in campaigning to ensure people living with cancer didn't miss out on vital support. Read about our campaign successes so far.
Why did we campaign?
Some people with cancer were to lose critical financial support from Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) after only one year. For many, one year isn’t long enough. We secured a commitment from the Government that more cancer patients would be placed in the ESA Support Group, where support is unconditional and not time-limited.
People with cancer undergoing different types of debilitating cancer treatment were being treated differently in the benefits system. This was unfair. We secured a commitment from the Government that people awaiting, undergoing and recovering from all types of chemotherapy and radiotherapy would be placed in the Support Group.
It was proposed that people with cancer would have to wait six months before applying to Personal Independence Payments (PIP). Under the previous Disability Living Allowance (DLA) benefit the wait was only three months. We successfully campaigned for this to be reduced to three months, however the length of time you need to be expected to be impacted by your condition to qualify for PIP increased from six to nine months.
Despite these successes, we know that the recent welfare reforms have impacted on people living with cancer and in a number of cases are causing real hardship. We are always monitoring the impact of these changes and continue to work with the Government to ensure the changes do not negatively impact on people affected by cancer.
If you have been affected by any element of welfare reform and would like to share your story to help us campaign, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. This may include:
Employment and Support Allowance
Personal Independence Payments
Changes to Housing Benefit
The benefit cap
Local welfare assistance schemes.
Read more news about our welfare campaign.
A closer look at the campaign
Find out about the campaign on welfare reform and the difference we made.
Take a closer look at the proposed changes we campaigned against and what they would have meant for people with cancer.