Lords conclude check of Social Security (Special Rules for End of Life) Bill
23 June 2022
The Social Security (Special Rules for End of Life) Bill had its third reading, a chance for members to make sure the eventual law is effective, workable and without loopholes, on Wednesday 22 June.
The Social Security (Special Rules for End of Life) Bill seeks to enable people who are thought to be in the final year of their life to get fast-tracked access to Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Attendance Allowance (AA). It will also amend the definition of end of life in existing legislation, which is based on the claimant having six months or less to live, by replacing it with a new twelve-month definition.
Third reading is a chance for members to make sure the eventual law is effective, workable and without loopholes.
No changes to the wording of the bill were put forward ahead of third reading. Members discussed the progress of the bill through the House at the conclusion of Lords stages.
Explore further information
Read background on the bill in the House of Lords Library Social Security (Special Rules for End of Life) Bill [HL] briefing.
Following completion of third reading, the bill now passes to the House of Commons for its consideraton.
What's happened so far?
Order of commitment discharged: Monday 20 June
Committee stage is the first chance for line by line examination of the bill.
Members speaking at committee stage may put forward amendments (changes) to the bill to be discussed. If no amendments are tabled, members may agree to skip committee stage and report stage, and proceed straight to the third reading of the bill, known as 'order of commitment discharged'.
No amendments were put forward at committee stage and the bill will go straight to third reading.
Second reading: Tuesday 24 May
Members discussed the main issues in the bill and flagged up concerns on specific areas where they thought amendments (changes) were needed during second reading. Topics covered in the debate included:
- aligning Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) policies with the NHS's definition of the end of life
- the response time for fast-tracked claims
- ensuring that financial assistance does not come at the expense of better or more widespread palliative care for all
- how medical data is handled and processed
- financial support for parents when children die
- whether terminally ill people can continue to work and receive support
- early access to the state pension
- and current PIP assesment times.
Baroness Stedman-Scott (Conservative), Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Work and Pensions, opened the debate and responded on behalf of the government.
Members speaking in the debate included:
- Baroness Brinton (Liberal Democrat) Liberal Democrat spokesperson for health
- Baroness Finlay of Llandaff (Crossbench), consultant physician in palliative care and former vice president of Hospice UK
- Baroness Noakes (Conservative), former member of the Public Services Productivity Panel
- Baroness Sherlock (Labour), opposition spokesperson for work and pensions.
Find out more about the issues discussed:
Image: Adobe Stock