Cancer patients 'made to wait 6 months for benefits'

At least 4,500 cancer patients have been left waiting six months or more for their disability benefits because of delays to assessments, according to a cancer charity. The claims have been questioned by welfare officials.

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DWP: Cancer charity's claims over PIP 'simplistic'

Claims by Macmillan Cancer Support that delayed assessments for a disability benefit have left at least 4,500 cancer patients waiting six months or more have been questioned by welfare officials.

The Department for Work and Pensions said the charity's survey results are "at best to be treated with extreme caution" because it involved only 210 patients.

Official statistics on waiting times are still being compiled.

Macmillan's report is based on a very small sample size using simplistic calculations to produce results, which at best should be treated with extreme caution.

Claims for terminally ill people are fast-tracked using 'special rules' under Personal Independence Payment and statistics show over 99% of people with terminal illnesses who have applied have been awarded the benefit. That means over 10,000 terminally ill claimants are now receiving PIP.

We have been working with Macmillan and they have acknowledged that improvements to the system have already been made.

PIP replaces the outdated Disability Living Allowance which was introduced over 20 years ago.

It includes a new face-to-face assessment and regular reviews - something missing from the old system - to make sure support is better targeted at those who need it most.

– DWP spokesperson

50% of cancer patients 'dissatisfied' with PIP process

Almost half of cancer patients are unhappy with the process of obtaining the new Personal Independence Payment benefit.

Macmillan Cancer Support said their survey showed 47% of patients were dissatisfied with the process - a third because of the delays and almost a quarter (23%) because of "poor communication from the Department for Work and Pensions.

Cancer sufferers have criticised the Department for Work and Pensions over benefits delays. Credit: Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Macmillan's head of policy Duleep Allirajah said: "Our report shows the real and shattering impact of these PIP delays are having on cancer patients.

"It is unacceptable that people struggle to heat their homes, are saddled with debt or are left anxious or depressed because they are waiting so long for their much-needed benefits."

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Cancer patients 'made to wait 6 months for benefits'

Benefits delays are leaving thousands of cancer patients forced to wait months to find out if they will receive help, a charity has found.

A survey from Macmillan Cancer Support found 4,500 cancer patients had been made to wait six months or more for a decision on whether they will get the new Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

The charity said the poll had shown the "shattering" impact of the problems with the introduction of PIP, which has replaced Disability Living Allowance.

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