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In Focus - Improvements have been made to 'benefit eligibility' at the end of life, in order to make access to some benefits faster and easier.
The Special Rules provide people nearing the end of life with faster and easier access to some benefits.
On Monday 4 April 2022, the eligibility criteria for the Special Rules changed for two benefits: Universal Credit (UC) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). This change means that individuals can make a claim under the Special Rules to these benefits if they are likely to have 12 months or less to live.
At present, the previous rules, which allow fast-tracked access to benefits if an individual is likely to have less than 6 months to live, still apply for claims to Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Attendance Allowance (AA).
Clinicians, such as a GP, hospital consultant, hospice doctor or specialist nurse, can be asked to provide medical evidence (a DS1500 or the new SR1 form) to support benefit claims under the Special Rules process.
To find out more about the changes and the new medical evidence form, DWP have published this guidance. Further updates will be made available once the new 12-month end of life approach is in place for all benefits.