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Ulster Unionists call on Secretary of State to end ‘unjust and heartless policy’ of requiring PIP assessments for terminally ill people

Ulster Unionist Councillor Robert Foster has called on the Secretary of State to take action to end the situation whereby PIP assessments are applied to terminally ill patients with a life expectancy greater than 6 months.

Councillor Robert Foster said:

“My primary motivation for getting involved in politics was the desire to help people and to face down injustice.

“I recently supported a motion in Antrim & Newtownabbey Council that perfectly encapsulated that motivation – namely to end PIP assessments for terminally ill patients with a life expectancy greater than 6 months.

“My motives were based on my own life experience as my mother was diagnosed at 34 with terminal cancer and died at 35; and my father was diagnosed at 59 with terminal Motor Neurone Disease and died at 60.

“Had the current rules been applied whilst they were alive, they would have had to face an assessment to determine their eligibility for PIP, having just been informed they had a terminal illness. I can only begin to imagine how this must feel for the individuals and the families affected.

“I can only conclude that there is no dignity, empathy or any degree of humanity applied to people with a terminal illness with life expectancy over 6 months.

“In the absence of a fully functioning Assembly and Executive at Stormont, I am therefore calling on the Secretary of State to act now to end this unjust and heartless policy.”

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