CLIC Sargent’s report, ‘Cancer Costs’, has identified the additional emotional stress caused by financial pressures as a significant problem for young cancer patients. The charity found that 73 per cent of young people it surveyed found the PIP application form stressful. Young people over the age of 16 with a serious or critical illness, such as cancer, are able to apply for PIP. This is a tax-free allowance designed to contribute to the extra costs incurred as a result of long term health conditions and disabilities. To be entitled to PIP, a person needs to have met the relevant disability conditions for a period of three months and be expected to satisfy the conditions for at least a further nine months. CLIC Sargent is asking the government to review this process and backdate PIP financial support to the day of diagnosis.
The current PIP assessment process is not fit for purpose. Instead of supporting people, the process is often dehumanising, inaccurate and worsens existing health conditions. At the 2017 General Election, I stood on a manifesto which pledged to scrap Work Capability and PIP assessments and replace them with a personalised, holistic assessment process.
I will follow any developments on this issue closely.