Hundreds of terminally ill cancer patients are waiting weeks and months for their income support because of a new payment system that the government has introduced. The new system for disability benefit claims was introduced in April 2013. For the majority of claimants, Personal Independence Payments (PIPs) are replacing the Disability Living Allowance (DLA). The Disability Living Allowance is claimed by 3.2 million people. The government says that the change is to simplify the system, however the unintended effect of the system is that payments which previously took 8 to 10 days are now taking 8 to 10 weeks. For terminally ill cancer patients this is a terrible delay.
Macmillan Cancer Support criticise the delays. Macmillan advisors working in hospitals and Citizen Advice Bureaus have reported that the changes to the system have left hundreds of cancer victims without support.
Macmillans director of policy and research, Mike Hobday has criticised the delays on the BBC Radio 4 today programme. He described the delays as appalling. Macmillan are talking to DWP officials about the delays but have stated that they are worried that there is no commitment to what the fast track time scale should be for cancer victims.