tens of thousands of cancer patients They have seen physically and Psychological health They suffer because they face “unacceptable” delays in obtaining vital financial support, a leading charity said.
‘Immediate action’ is needed to reduce wait times to help with additional living costs for people with long-term conditions, according to Macmillan Cancer Support.
Official data shows that the average waiting time for this payment is close to five months.
It is believed that about 250,000 people with cancer receive this financial support from the government called the Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
Nearly 30 percent — or 75,000 — have seen their physical and mental health deteriorate while waiting for this to happen, according to a survey by Macmillan.
Of those who had to wait more than 11 weeks for their first payment, nearly half – 46 percent – in the survey said their health had deteriorated during this time.
Kathy Morse had to wait about a year to receive support for her living costs through PIP after being diagnosed with a rare vaginal cancer.
The 55-year-old from Salford, who lost her school job during her battle against cancer, was turned down for financial support the first time she applied, causing more pressure on her.
“You are in an uncontrollable situation when you have cancer. You cannot control the disease. And then you try to control your money and your security,” she told The Independent.
Ms. Morse added: “I’m not an anxious person. The only time I’ve ever felt anxious was through this PIP system.”
The 55-year-old, who is still unemployed, said the PIP payments are a lifeline for her. She said the extra money helps her get to cancer treatment appointments and take classes to keep her mobile.
Ciaran Norris of Macmillan Cancer Support said the government needed to take “immediate action” to reduce waiting times for PIP payments.
“It is unacceptable that people with cancer are left waiting for months to receive the financial support they so desperately need,” he said. “We are now in a critical situation, and bold action is needed to keep up with the scale of the challenge facing people.”
A spokesperson for the Department of Work and Pensions said: “We understand how difficult a cancer diagnosis can be and life-changing, which is why we are committed to providing people with the support they are entitled to as quickly as possible, and we will be deferring awards to ensure no one is missing out.
“We support millions of people each year and continue to improve our PIP service by boosting resources and opening up phone and video assessments, with process times now reduced by eight weeks from last year.”
Discussion about this post