Benefits Information for Healthcare Professionals

We’ve provided some information to help ensure that healthcare professionals have up to date information on benefits.

Special rules for terminal illness

Special Rules for Terminal Illness apply in the following social security benefits: Attendance Allowance; Disability Living Allowance; Personal Independence Payment; Employment and Support Allowance; and Universal Credit.

The current Special Rules for Terminal Illness provide fast-tracked access to these benefits where a person has received a diagnosis of a progressive disease, and death is reasonably expected within 6 months.  From Monday 4 April 2022 this period will increase to 12 months.  This revised life expectancy timeframe aligns more closely with that used in the Health Service for the purposes of “end of life” care.

In Northern Ireland the change will apply to each of the five social security benefits with Special Rules for Terminal Illness provision.  This reform will mean more people who are terminally ill will be able to access fast-tracked financial support through social security benefits. They will not have to go through assessments and will get automatic access to benefits earlier.

Personal Independence Payment

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) replaced Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people aged 16 to 64 years. 

Most PIP claimants will undergo a face-to-face assessment with a Health Professional working on behalf of Capita Health and Wellbeing, the PIP Assessment Provider in Northern Ireland. They may contact you for further information about a claimant. In line with General Medical Council guidelines, contact will only be made where the patient’s consent is held.

There are also Special Rules for claimants who have a terminal illness and are not expected to live for more than six months to ensure they get help quickly. You may be requested to fill in an SR1 for a terminally ill patient to confirm their medical condition.

We’ve developed resources to help provide an overview of PIP and your role in the process.  Further information is available on nidirect and these pages are updated regularly to reflect the latest information about PIP.

Employment Support Allowance (ESA)

Further information about Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) specifically for healthcare professionals is available.

Income Support

Income Support is extra money to help people on a low income. It’s for people who don't have to sign on as unemployed. Whether you qualify or not and how much you get depends on your circumstances.

Guidance for Social Workers in Northern Ireland

For more information on Income Support

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