Thank you for contacting me about Personal Independence Payments (PIP) for young people with cancer.
I understand that cancer can affect all areas of a person's life, including finances - indeed 83% of people say they are financially impacted by cancer - and I appreciate you feel that support related to disability should be provided at the point of diagnosis.
However, it’s a long standing principle of disability support that it’s payable after a person satisfies the disability eligibility conditions for three months. This is to ensure that PIP supports those with long term disabilities which fall under the definition used in the Equality Act 2010. Before it was replaced by PIP, Disability Living Allowance also had this rule. It affects all claimants, not just young people, and there are exceptions such as in the case of terminal cancer.
People over the age of 16 who are unable to work due to an illness or disability can claim Employment and Support Allowance which has both contributory and an income-related strands. For cancer sufferers, a light touch evidence gathering process exists to help determine eligibility. There’s also a presumption that claimants receiving or recovering from cancer treatment will be placed in the Support Group.
More broadly, I’m pleased that the Government spends over £50 billion a year supporting people with disabilities and health conditions, more than ever before; this is around 2.5% of GDP and over 6% of all Government spending. I hope this reassures you that the Government is committed to helping those who receive a cancer diagnosis.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
With best wishes.