The document, delivered to 10 Downing Street, urges the government to give people with a terminal illness easier and quicker access to the benefits they are entitled to.

Currently, unless a medical professional signs a form saying the person has six months or less to live they are forced through a laborious process of form-filling, interviews and assessments.

David Setters, who is living with MND and consultant neurologist Dr Nik Sharma were among those who delivered the petition; as was Downton Abbey actor Jim Carter.

The MND Association believes everyone diagnosed with a terminal illness – whatever their life expectancy – is entitled to access the fast track process, which can cut the wait for benefits by weeks and sometimes months.

David Setters says: “We are not asking for money, we are simply asking for fast track access to the benefits people with terminal illnesses need and are entitled to so that affected families don’t have to waste time fighting the system.”

Last month work and pensions secretary Amber Rudd announced a review into benefits for the terminally ill.

While this was encouraging, the MND Association wants assurances that thw review to happen quickly.

Actor Jim Carter says: “Every day 10 people die while waiting for the benefits they need. That can’t be right – and is why I’ve signed the petition along with tens of thousands of other people across the UK who are urging the Government to end the cruel benefit system for dying people.”

The petition, which included 55,435 signatories, will be passed on to the new Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

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