Regulations brought further extensions to the Financial Assistance Scheme from 27 March 2009, allowing for "severe ill-health payments": an early unreduced payment of assistance for qualifying members who are aged 55 or over, who are not terminally ill, but because of a progressive disease have a significantly shortened life expectancy (i.e. they can reasonably be expected to live for at least six months but not more than five years).

The FAS Information and Payments Regulations are amended to require certain medical information to be provided to the scheme manager when requesting a severe ill-health payment. Provided certain conditions are met:

  • a person already receiving a FAS payment may request to receive a severe ill-health payment instead
  • a person may receive a severe ill-health payment in respect of a past period before these regulations came into force
  • a survivor or relevant representative may make an application in respect of a member who may have benefited from a severe ill-health payment had he not died.