Benefits for people nearing the end of their lives are currently sanctioned through the special rules for terminal illness (SRTI).

If a person can prove they are living with a terminal illness, they can fast-track benefit applications and be paid at an enhanced rate.

Charities have continuously campaigned for applicants not to have to prove whether or not they have up to six months to live.

Announcing the review, the Department for Work and Pensions said the rules were often seen as favouring those living with cancer when other illnesses can also limit life.

Rudd said she wanted to look again to make sure that these processes were working effectively and to see if more could be done to improve engagement with the department for claimants living with the most severe conditions.

Motor neurone disease and other auto-immune diseases would be under consideration during this review.

AA Gill, Rudd’s ex-husband, died of cancer in 2016 and this has shaped the minster’s viewpoint of the benefits system for terminally ill claimants.

She told the Daily Express: “Having a life-limiting illness or severe condition can cause unimaginable suffering from the patient and for their loved ones.

“Having seen it in my own family I know that the last thing you need is additional financial pressures or unnecessary assessments.

“So that’s why today I am beginning work on a fresh and honest evaluation of our benefits system so that I can be sure that people who are nearing the end of their life get the best possible support.”