Change the criteria for PIP for cancer patients and speed up the actual process of patients to receive PIP while they are incapacitated and in need of extra income
This petition had 369 supporters
At the moment the organisation that is in charge of PIP is way behind in their assessments. Unfortunately this is affecting cancer patients in particular as in many cases they can recover and return to work so any benefit paid is usually only short term while they have treatment. Due to this backlog they are not assessed at the peak of their illness when they are genuinely unable to function due to chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy. From many cancer forums it appears that cancer patients apply for PIP but are left unassessed until their treatment is virtually over, sometimes over a year, so when they are finally assessed they are found well and refused any PIP payment. Never mind that they have had a year of hell getting through chemo and other treatment which impacts on their lives considerably, physically, emotionally and financially. Many cancer patients are just refused this benefit because they may be having a "good day" when assessed.
There are many tv adverts at the moment assuring people that there is "help out there " - unfortunately until you are in that position you realise that actually there is very little. You can apply for a Macmillan grant of £300 (if you qualify) but if you are off work for many months, ill and maybe on your own you need extra financial help. Having cancer is expensive - there are many products and treatments that can help you feel a bit better whilst undergoing treatment but they all have to be paid for. Just having to get taxis to and from appointments add up and many people who have cancer do not have that extra money available.
Macmillan are collecting a log of people who are in this position, and just reading forums online, there are many people who are in financial straits from having cancer. Anyone who is undergoing radical surgery, gruelling radiotherapy and invasive chemotherapy needs help - especially as it is likely to be for a period of time only hopefully.
Cancer is not only bad for your body and mind but hits hard in your pocket too. Statistics are showing that 73% of people who are diagnosed with cancer are left with depression which is hardly surprising as they are feeling unsupported financially never mind what tv ads are saying. Macmillan do a wonderful job, as do other cancer charities and it should be up to the government to provide a quick and fair assessment for PIP so people receive it quickly to perhaps alleviate some of the stress of this awful disease.
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