Decision to amend Social Security Bill welcomed by Marie Curie and MND Scotland.
At Stage 2 of the Bill’s progress through the Scottish Parliament, an amendment was made introducing a definition of terminal illness that covers the last 2 years of life as opposed to the last 6 months, which is currently used by DWP.
On Friday, however, the Minister for Social Security Jeane Freeman MSP announced that the clinical judgement of medical professionals will be used to identify people with terminal illnesses accessing disability entitlements from the new Social Security Agency.
The Scottish Government’s announcement has been warmly welcomed by a number of ALLIANCE members.
Richard Meade, Marie Curie Head of Policy and Public Affairs Scotland said: “Scotland has a unique opportunity to make a social security system with dignity and fairness at its heart, and this newly agreed definition will be a realisation of that for terminally ill people in Scotland. We look forward to working with Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer to support the development of the accompanying guidance.”
Craig Stockton, CEO of MND Scotland, said: “We are thrilled that the Scottish Government and MSPs have taken action to ensure a fairer system is put in place for those with a terminal illness. When the Bill comes into effect it will make a real difference to people affected by MND in Scotland allowing them to be fast tracked for benefits and removing some of the worry and distress that they currently face.”