Now in its 13th year, the Scottish Charity Awards highlight the best, most innovative and effective charity organisations and individuals from the past year.
MND Scotland and Marie Curie Scotland are nominated for our joint campaign ‘Social Security in Scotland – a fair definition of terminal illness’.
Both charities have also been nominated for the People's Choice Award - where the winners will be decided in a public vote.
As a result of our campaign, which saw hundreds of supporters emailing their MSPs in support, people living with a terminal illness in Scotland will no longer have to prove how long they have left to live to access financial support, for benefits which are being transferred to Scotland under the Social Security (Scotland) Act.
Currently, under the UK system, people with MND have to prove they have just 6 months left to live to be fast-tracked and to claim the maximum level of benefit. This “6-month rule” is a big problem for people with MND because it is virtually impossible for them to prove that they only have 6 months left to live. This has resulted in many people with MND not receiving the financial support they need quickly enough.
Under the Social Security (Scotland) Act, some benefits such as Personal Independence Payments (PIP) are being devolved to Scotland. PIP is a benefit which helps with the cost of living with disabilities.
We campaigned hard with Marie Curie to ensure this “6-month rule” was not included in the new Scottish Social Security system being set up. This means from 2020, when the new powers are expected to come into effect in Scotland, people with terminal illnesses will be able to access the full amount of financial support quickly and more easily.
MND Scotland and Marie Curie will continue to work with the Scottish Government to ensure the new rules work in practice.
Some benefits accessed by people with MND in Scotland e.g. Employment Support Allowance and Universal Credit, will continue to be delivered by the UK Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). We are, therefore, working with UK partners to try to persuade the UK Government to follow Scotland’s lead and scrap the ‘6-month rule’ for all benefits.
Susan Webster, MND Scotland’s Head of Policy & Campaigns, said: “We were delighted that as a result of our campaign with Marie Curie, people with MND will no longer have to prove they have just 6 months left to live for benefits soon to be delivered from Scotland.
"We will continue to call for the UK Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to follows Scotland’s lead and implement this crucial change for all benefits. Our supporters were instrumental in the success of this campaign and to be a finalist in SCVO’s Cracking Campaign Award is a proud achievement for us all.”
As a result of being nominated for the top campaigning award, both charities are also eligible for the People’s Choice Award. You can vote for MND Scotland and Marie Curie Scotland here.
11 November 2019
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03 October 2019
18 September 2019