Social Security Benefits: Dementia

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 27th February 2023.

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Photo of Tom Pursglove Tom Pursglove The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

People with dementia, who are deemed by their clinicians to be at the end of their lives, may be eligible to claim benefits under the ‘Special Rules for End of Life’ (SREL).

Eligibility under SREL is not determined by medical condition, but rather based on clinical judgment about patients’ estimated prognosis. The department’s supporting clinical guidance advises clinicians to assess whether they would be surprised if their patient dies within the next 12 months if they are claiming UC or ESA, or 6 months if they are claiming Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Disability Living Allowance (DLA), or Attendance Allowance (AA).

The Government announced in July 2021 that it intended to replace the current six-month eligibility criteria with a 12-month end of life approach. The DWP implemented this change to Universal Credit and Employment Support Allowance regulations on 4th April 2022 and similar changes will also be made to Personal Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance, and Attendance Allowance in April 2023.

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