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Alliance MLAs welcome handover of petition calling for easier benefits access

Alliance MLAs have welcomed the handing over of a petition calling for easier access to benefits for people with terminal illnesses to the Prime Minister.

The petition, which is a result of a campaign by the Marie Curie charity and has been signed by over 50,000 people, was handed over at 10 Downing Street today (Wednesday). It calls on the Government to remove the current restrictions which mean terminally ill people can only get fast access to benefits if they are told they have six months or less to live.

“This move would replicate a similar move recently made by the Scottish Government and would mean everyone with a terminal illness would get easier access to the benefits they’re entitled to,” said Paula Bradshaw MLA.

“It is vital the Government not only listens to the need for the change to be made but it makes it a priority to do so as soon as possible. The people most in need of help literally have no time to waste.”

“Someone who has a terminal illness has enough considerations on their plate without having to worry about fighting for access to benefits,” added Kellie Armstrong MLA.

“My colleagues and I have submitted a motion to be debated when the Assembly returns, calling for the six-month life expectancy criteria be removed and legislation changed to adopt a fairer definition of terminal illness. Hopefully this petition helps change this as well.”