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Universal Credit: Terminal Illnesses

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 22nd October 2018.

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Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Labour, East Ham

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department has a fast track process to ensure that a claimant who has submitted a DS1500 receives the first Universal Credit payment within seven days; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Alok Sharma Alok Sharma The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

Holding answer received on 16 October 2018

The Department and the Universal Credit Programme have regular meetings with key stakeholders to understand how our policies are working and discuss potential areas for improvement. The design of Universal Credit for terminally ill claimants is based on the well tested processes that have been in place in Employment and Support Allowance, as have the documentation of illness requirements. We will continue to keep these under review to ensure that they work as effectively as possible.

If the claimant does not have a DS1500 but is deemed as terminally ill then we will fast track the Work Capability Assessment process so that the report is provided within 48 hours.

If a claimant has been diagnosed as terminally ill with a prognosis of 6 months or less and been provided with a DS1500 or one has already been provided, Universal Credit will automatically award the Limited Capability for Work and Work Related Activity element without the requirement to refer this for a Work Capability Assessment decision.

All claimants are able to apply for an advance of their Universal Credit to ensure they do not face financial hardship whilst they are awaiting the assessment of their Universal Credit award.

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