Posted on Monday 29 April 2024

in News

Statement in response to UK Government consultation on changes to Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

The UK Government have today (Monday 29 April) launched a consultation seeking views on proposed changes to the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) benefit.

In response to the launch of the consultation, Rachel Kirby-Rider, Chief Executive at Young Lives vs Cancer said:

“When a young person is diagnosed with cancer they are immediately hit with significant additional costs, and at the same time daily living expenses go up and household income often goes down. It all adds up and welfare benefits quickly become a vital lifeline for young cancer patients.

“It’s absolutely critical that the UK Government ensure that disability benefits support for all young people with cancer is available – this is the very minimum they need and deserve. Any cuts to the amount or availability of PIP for young cancer patients would be unacceptable.

“Young people with cancer have been struggling with disability benefits, including PIP, for several years and significant issues with the application process, delays and the amount of financial support provided urgently need to be addressed. We hope that this consultation will genuinely listen to the needs and experiences of young cancer patients and not further shut them out of essential financial support they are entitled to.

“We know this news will cause concern for some of the young people and families that Young Lives vs Cancer supports, but want to re-assure that no changes to PIP are happening immediately. Our social workers and staff are here for anyone who needs support.

“Young Lives vs Cancer will be making a formal submission to the consultation to reflect the needs of young people with cancer and hope the UK Government will make the right choice when it comes to supporting them, and all other people who rely on PIP.”

PIP is one of the main disability benefits that young people (over 16) who are diagnosed with cancer may access, to provide financial support for additional and daily living costs. Research by Young Lives vs Cancer shows that across the UK children and young people with cancer, and their families, experience additional monthly costs of £700 a month, every month, on average. At the same time, the average loss of household income experienced by these young people and families is £6,000 per year, but for one in three this reaches over £10,000. These figures show how essential welfare benefits support is for young people with cancer and their families.

The 12-week consultation is seeking views on proposed changes to the PIP eligibility criteria, assessment process and cash award system. The consultation will apply to England and Wales primarily, with considerations to be made in the future on whether any outcomes may apply in other devolved nations.

Young Lives vs Cancer will submit an official response to the consultation outlining the potential impacts of the proposed changes on young people with cancer and their families, and will continue to stand up for the needs and rights of young cancer patients. Young Lives vs Cancer stands ready and willing to work constructively with the UK Government to ensure that young people with cancer are not failed by the benefits system.

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