Not content with the current cuts to benefits, the Department of Work and Pensions has been sending worrying letters about the Welfare Reform Bill, which has yet to be passed.
Terminally ill people claiming Employment and Support Allowance have received letters telling them that as of April 2012, ESA will only be paid for a year to those in the Work-Related Activity group. However, this change is retrospective so people currently receiving ESA could lose it when the new rule comes in.
Understandably this news has been met with shock by disability groups. Neil Coyle of Disability Alliance told the Guardian: "The impact of cutting support will be devastating for people already told they only have a limited time left to live. Many will have worked for years and will feel they deserve a little support in return until they pass away.”
It is reported that the cost of sending these notification letters is £2.7m.
A DWP spokesman said “The process of working may be helpful in giving [terminally ill people] a sense of being useful and prolonging their lives.” But in a economic climate where it’s hard enough for an able-bodied person to find work, the challenge of finding work for someone with a life-limiting condition may be a step too far.