Ian Austin MP

Labour MP for Dudley North

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MP backs campaign to make access easier for people with a terminal illness

Dudley MP Ian Austin is backing a campaign to help terminally ill patients access crucial benefits.

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Austin will be backing the Access to Welfare (Terminal Illness Definition) Bill which will change the current definition of terminal illness to allow terminally ill people access benefits quicker, easier and in a dignified manner.

Currently, someone is only considered terminally ill is there is a reasonable expectation of death within 6 months. It excludes people with complex and unpredictable terminal conditions from access the financial support they need in a timely manner. Often, people with a terminal illness have to navigate the time consuming and difficult application route for benefits such as Personal Independence Payment and Universal Credit.

If the bill is successful, the definition will allow the clinical judgement of a registered practitioner to determine if a person is terminally ill, replacing the arbitrary time-limit. It will allow those with terminal illness such as Moto Neurone Disease, which is complex and unpredictable, apply for benefits via a more suitable and dignified channel.

Ian Austin Said:

“It is shocking to think that people with terminal illnesses are currently forced to go through the normal routes of applying for the benefits they are entitled to.

“I am backing this bill so that they can spend more of their remaining with their family and friends, and not navigating forms for accessing benefits.”

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