Benefits Whilst off work Having Reconstruction


Does anybody know details of what i may be entitled to if anything in relation to benefits whilst I am off work having preventative surgery and reconstruction? I thought that if you couldn’t work due to something like this that you’d automatically get something?

I just had a conversation with the Job Centre - spent about 45 minutes filling in a questionnnaire which was so long and drawn out -I can’t believe the whole process is/can be so complicated. Are all the millions of questions really necessary when it’s so clear that I’ve been ill and made a claim less than 2 years ago - shouldn’t they have all my details on the system? Just having a bit of a rant actually as I actually felt like telling them to just forget about it all.

If anybody is able to provide any information/assistance, that would be really helpful.


Hi Ruby

I don’t know details of any benefits you may be entitled to but I would strongly suggest that you give your nearest Macmillan Benefits Adviser a call. They can help with all the forms and they’ll tell you exactly which benefits you should be claiming.

You can find the telephone numbers on their website:

I know from personal experience, how complicated and frustrating it can be to try to claim benefits when all you need to be doing is concentrating on trying to get well again.

Sue xx

Hi Ruby

I completely understand your rant. I went self employed in 2006 after working for employers for 25 years with almost no sick time and then had 6 months on benefits in 2007 (then incapacity benefit) after having a hysterectomy and bowel resection for endometriosis.
Following my diagnosis in February 2009 I had to do the full application again. This time it was called employment support allowance (ESA).
I then had to complete a review form which was just like the application form again in March this year. I told them I was returning to self employed work on 26 April (after discussing my fatigue etc with my BC nurse, oncologist and GP) but they’ve now said I have to go for a medical assessemtn on 21 April. I’ve just rung Macmillan for some advice. To say that the system is bureaucratic is an understatement!

I would definitely speak to Macmillan as they have excellent financial advisors who can also advise on the best way to complete the forms.

Good luck!!
Elinda x

Dear Elinda and Flossied
Thank you so much for your advice - that’s really helped and made me feel better that it’s not just me. I will call Macmillian - sometimes you just need a pointer from somebody else to help you along your way and this has really helped. None of us need this amount of stress and I came off the phone feeling really drained!

Thanx again
Ruby xx

Hi Ruby

I applied for ESA in January, I did the form online and few days later a woman from Work and Pensions rang me for a telephone interview(45 minutes), she basically asked me the same questions as were on the form. I then got another thick form to fill through the post! It was all very long-winded but they did back-date the money.

If you are single you can also claim for poll tax though they do take into account any money you have coming in ie ESA, Company pension etc.

If i remember rightly, once you go back to work you also get something for a year after being on ESA.

Take care x

Hi Aqua
Thanks for your advice and info that you’ve provided.
I’m going to call Macmillan tomorrow and feeling a little better about things now.