Broader Disability Definition in United Kingdom Could Provide Benefits for All HIV/AIDS Patients
In response to pressure from disability advocates, ministers in the United Kingdom are considering broadening the definition of disability to include people with newly diagnosed HIV or cancer, the Guardian reports. Under the current U.K. disability program set forth in 1995, which provides benefits to more than eight million people, the term "disabled" only includes those with HIV/AIDS whose condition is "advanced" enough to "substantially" affect daily activites. The change in definition would give an additional 40,000 people new benefits and rights, but it would require the passage of new legislation, which is "not at all an easy matter," Disability Minister Maria Eagle said. "The more we think about it, the more people come up with different ideas about who should be included and who shouldn't be included," Engle added. Disability benefits in the United Kingdom include living allowances and rights to accessible goods and services (Ward, Guardian, 12/18).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.