Close to 8,000 people died within six months of their application for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) being rejected since 2013, newly released figures have shown.
Labour MP, Madeleine Moon, obtained the figures from the Department for Work and Pensions, which showed people who had been rejected PIP made up 10% of the nearly 74,000 who died within six months of making a claim.
However, the DWP has insisted that there is no evidence implying those who died did so for the same reason they were submitted a PIP claim, according to a national newspaper report.
Over PIP 3.6m were made between 2013 and 2018. Of these, 73,800 claimants died within six months of their claim being registered. 7,990 had died after having their claims rejected, representing a small proportion.
The figures were provided by pensions minister, Sarah Newton, in a written answer to Parliament.
Ms Moon, who is MP for Bridgend, said: “These shameful figures reveal how gravely ill people, eligible for benefits, have tragically fallen through the cracks of a failing system as they approach the end of life.
“Questions to the DWP have uncovered many cases where terminally ill people have had their PIP applications rejected when applying under normal rules** and have died within six months.
“It is disgusting that people who are dying have not been treated with compassion and support and their claim fast tracked.
“When you only have a short time left to live you must not be let down by a callous system which is not fit for purpose.”
The DWP said that 56,920 of the 73,800 people who died were credited with a payment. It added that the majority of people who claim PIP do so for non-life-threatening reasons.
A spokeswoman told the Mirror: “DWP decision makers take into consideration all the evidence provided and under PIP 31% of people get the highest possible support, compared with 15% under DLA.
“We fast-track the claim process for people who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness and we’re stopping unnecessary reassessments for people with the most severe and life-long conditions.”