Marie Curie called on DWP ministers to pay the state pension to people diagnosed with a terminal illness who have not yet reached retirement age
(Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Tens of thousands of dying Britons should receive their state pension early, a charity is demanding today.
Marie Curie has called for the £185.15-a-week payment to be given to terminally ill people to prevent 25,000 people of working age from dying in poverty each year.
It comes after fast-track benefits for the terminally ill were extended under a pledge first made in 2019.
Special end of life rules now apply within 12 months of predicted death and no longer within 6 months for Universal Credit and Employment and Support Allowance.
The Queen’s speech confirmed plans to extend it to personal independence payments, likely next year.
Marie Curie chief executive Matthew Reed urged ministers to go further and extend the state pension to the same group.
This would replace Universal Credit and ESA, but would be paid on top of PIP for those affected.
He said: “We are stunned to see the level of poverty among the dying. Put simply, it’s shocking.
“It is clear that the system of working-age benefits does not prevent people who are dying from sliding into poverty.”
A charity report, based on research from Loughborough University, found that 28% of those of working age who died lived in poverty.
This rose to two out of three for people who have dependent children.
The cost will rise by up to £16,000 for people with a terminal illness as they spend more on energy bills, home adjustments and care, the charity found.
Melanie Armer, 48, who was diagnosed with end-stage bone cancer in March 2021, told the charity: “My biggest fear is that I won’t have enough money to support us.
“I have a seven-year-old son and we have to cut back on groceries, electricity and gas.
“We now have to see if we can get nurses to come over and take my blood here instead of going to the hospital – just to try and save on gas.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/tens-thousands-dying-brits-would-26940119 Tens of thousands of dying Brits would receive an early state pension under the charity's plan