Winter fuel benefit for terminally ill people should be introduced, says Armstrong

A new winter fuel benefit for terminally ill people should be introduced, Alliance Communities spokesperson Kellie Armstrong MLA has said. Ms Armstrong was speaking after the launch of a report entitled the Vicious Cycle of Fuel Poverty and Terminal Illness by Marie Curie. The report, launched on Fuel Poverty Awareness Day, examines the cycle of […]

People should not be forced to choose between their health and paying bills, says Armstrong

Statutory sick pay (SSP) needs to be increased in line with the real living wage, to prevent anyone being forced to choose between their health and paying bills, Alliance Communities spokesperson Kellie Armstrong MLA has said. The Strangford MLA said she had heard anecdotal evidence of some people deleting the Stop COVID app, due to […]

Armstrong receives confirmation minimum income floor for universal credit claimants will remain suspended

Alliance Communities spokesperson Kellie Armstrong MLA has received confirmation the minimum income floor for self-employed universal credit claimants will remain suspended until next year. Following the extension by the UK Government, Ms Armstrong wrote to Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín to enquire about discussions with her counterparts in Westminster regarding extending the suspension here. The minimum income floor […]

Armstrong calls for a better way to assess people for benefits

Alliance Communities spokesperson Kellie Armstrong MLA has called on the Department for Communities to review its assessment process for Personal Independence Payments (PIP), branding them “degrading and dehumanising”. Since the pandemic, face-to-face assessments for the benefit have been changed to telephone interviews. Strangford MLA Ms Armstrong said the change meant many aspects of the assessment […]

Executive should now move to change benefits system after High Court judgement, says Armstrong

The Executive should now move to change the benefits system, Alliance Communities spokesperson Kellie Armstrong MLA has said, after a terminally ill woman was awarded £5,000 for being denied fast-tracked benefits due to uncertainty over how long she would live. The High Court awarded Lorraine Cox, who has Motor Neurone Disease, the damages for discrimination […]