20 June 2014
Today [Friday] the Public Accounts Committee has published a report examining the Personal Independence Payment, responding to the report, Laura Thomas, Policy Manager at Macmillan Cancer Support says:
“The introduction of the new disability benefit, the Personal Independence Payment (PIP), has caused delays and uncertainty for thousands of cancer patients.
“New Macmillan research  shows that, since its implementation, thousands of cancer patients have been left in the dark, with at least 4,500 cancer patients waiting six months or more to find out whether they will even be awarded the benefit.
“These delays are having a real and shattering impact on cancer patients, leaving many saddled with debt or left anxious or depressed – this is heartbreaking and immoral.
“The Government has a duty to ensure that the new disability benefit works at least as well as the old one and Macmillan is calling on them to reduce waiting times to 11 weeks as a matter of urgency.”
For further information, please contact:
Charlotte Morris, Media & PR Officer, Macmillan Cancer Support
020 7840 2467 (out of hours 07801 307068)
Notes to Editors:
In February, UK Disability Minister Mike Penning announced that processing times for terminally ill people claiming under special rules are down to 10 days and will be further lowered to seven. Macmillan is calling on the Minister to now commit to reducing waiting times for those claiming under normal rules in order to ensure a benefits system that works for all cancer patients.
 Waiting to Benefit, An Evaluation of how Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is working for people living with cancer, 2014 Macmillan Cancer Support. http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Documents/GetInvolved/Campaigns/Campaigns/WelfareReform/Waiting-to-benefit-report.pdf
About Macmillan Cancer Support:
When you have cancer, you don’t just worry about what will happen to your body, you worry about what will happen to your life. Whether it’s concerns about who you can talk to, planning for the extra costs or what to do about work, at Macmillan we understand how a cancer diagnosis can take over everything.
That’s why we’re here. We provide support that helps people take back control of their lives. But right now, we can’t reach everyone who needs us. We need your help to make sure that people affected by cancer get the support they need to face the toughest fight of their life. No one should face cancer alone, and with your support no one will.
To get involved, call 0300 1000 200 today. And please remember, we’re here for you too. If you’d like support, information or just to chat, call us free on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday to Friday, 9am–8pm) or visit macmillan.org.uk