Jessica Morden Jessica Morden - Labour MP for Newport East, Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons and PPS to Keir Starmer
I’m supporting the campaign to enable more terminally ill people to access benefits more quickly and easily, regardless of the condition they have.
The MND Association and Marie Curie are working together to push for a change in the law that will enable more terminally ill people get quicker access to the benefits they need to live well until they die.
Currently, someone is only considered terminally ill if there is a reasonable expectation of having six or less months left to live. This outdated definition excludes people with complex and unpredictable terminal conditions from accessing the financial support they need in a timely manner. The current bureaucratic process for accessing crucial benefits can be lengthy, complex and instructive.
The change in the law will allow clinicians to determine whether a person is terminally ill, instead of an arbitrary time-limit decided in years gone-by. This would mean that people with complex and unpredictable terminal illnesses, such as motor neurone disease, can apply for benefits in a way far better suited to their needs and circumstances.
The chances are, we all know someone who’s been affected by a terminal illness, so it’s absolutely crucial that we make sure that anyone facing such a difficult time gets all the care and support they need, when they need it. That is why I’m backing the scrap6months campaign, and pay tribute to my Welsh Labour colleague Madeleine Moon who has brought forward The Access to Welfare (Terminal Illness Definition) Bill which seeks to change the current definition of terminal illness to allow terminally ill people to access benefits quicker, easier, and in a way that best suits the individual.
Marie Curie is there for everyone affected by a terminal illness, including those with cancer, dementia, heart or lung disease, and neurological conditions like motor neurone disease.
If you’re living with a terminal illness or caring for someone, call the Marie Curie Support Line on 0800 090 2309 for support, or go to mariecurie.org.uk/help.
The Access to Welfare (Terminal Illness Definition) Bill sponsored by Madeleine Moon is seeking to change the current definition of terminal illness to allow terminally ill people to access benefits quicker, easier, and in a way that best suits the individual.