Benefits

Hi all,
I have recently been diagnosed with a recurrance of breast cancer. I had another mastectomy & reconstruction 6 wks ago & am due to start chemo followed by radiotherapy & herceptin.
I am currently receiving statatory sick pay but as I have a physically demanding job with lots of heavy lifting, I have decided to leave. I was just wondering if I gave up my job would I be entitled to any benefits?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks,
Lisa x

Hi Lisa

Here’s a link to Macmillan cancer support, the webpage you will be directed to contains information and advice about financial help and benefits available, they also have a helpline you may wish to call for more advice and you can access the number via this link too:

macmillan.org.uk/Get_Support/Financial_help/Financial_help.aspx

Best wishes
Lucy

Sorry to hear of your re-occurrance and the fact that you are faced with having to leave your job due to the physical side of things. I would take advice on the benefits side before making a move to hand in your notice. The last thing you want is to have the hassle of fighting for benefits when you are also going through treatment.

The Benefits Enquiry Line is also informative. When I had my diagnosis of secondaries they were the ones telling me what I should be claiming and were very helpful.

Hi Lisa

Sorry to hear of your situation, I echo what Lilacblushes says, please don’t rush into resigning, your employer needs to make reasonable adjustments for you under DDA (disability discrimination act) and ask them what they can do to help you in your current post or ask for an alternative post.

Let us know how you get on, I hope you are recovering well from surgery.

Dawnflower

xxx

Benefit enquiry line 0800 882200
When your SSP finishes you should get Incapacity Benefit from Dept for Work and Pensions. Google DWP for other employment help for Disabled People to help you find other suitable work.
Don’t give your notice in - wait to see what your employers solution is.
I got paid off. by my employer as I couldn’t return to my previous job.

Hi everyone,
Benefits enquiry line can be misleading! I’d go to the citizens advice. I was told as my employer said they couldnt give me ssp that i could get incapacity. What a laugh, had a phone call to say that I could not get a thing. Going in hospital on Monday to have a mastectomy then after that chemo, too dangerous to go back to work due to infections( work in a playgroup) and I have two kids. Hubby’s work will give compassionate leave but they don’t pay a thing. So who’s gonna pay the bills, mortgage etc. Its so unfair as were I live if you lie and cheat you get benefits but if you are genuinely ill you cant get a thing. IT STINKS!!!

Essie x

Essie, I understand your anger I really do.

Speak to the Disability Rights people and ACAS - they told me about benefits etc that I didn’t know existed, and helped me when my employer ‘terminated my employment’ just before I was due to go back.

I would seriously question the SSP/incapacity stuff. Who told you that? I was lucky in being paid full salary and they said I was lucky, most only get SSP. In other words, what your employer pays you is irrelevant to any ‘claim’.

direct.gov.uk/en/DisabledPeople/index.htm

Hope this helps.

Love Caz xxx

Hi,
When your off sick from work for more than 3 days you should be entitled to SSP as long as your weekly earnings are above the lower earning limit which is approx £90 per wk. If you do not earn above this you do not contribute towards NI and it’s the contributions of NI that entitle you to receive either SSP or incapacity benefit
If you have a partner who works more than 24 hrs per wk or has earnings above a certain amount you do not qualify for Income Support
If you have children your CTC/WTC may increase because your income has dropped
Disability Living Allowance is not means tested but it is not cut and dry if you would qualify seek specialist advice from CAB
Check out www.adviceguide.org.uk for further benefit advice
Best of luck Caz x

Essie, I could not get IB as I had a 3 month NI gap dating back to 3 years before my diagnosis. This happened when I had to move 450 miles to care for my late father who was in the early stages of dementia.

MacMillan Cancer advised us to try for tax credits as my OH had just started a business 6 weeks before I was diagnosed and we were on a low income (I was unemployed but not entitled to JSA and about to take on temp work when I found out I was ill). We had to apply twice as we were rejected, but on the second attempt we got £96 a week. You might want to investigate this - you might only get a small amount but it would be better than nothing. We thought it was only people with kids who got tax credits, but it’s not the case. I’m now self employed and we are still entitled to some money from the system.

Sadly, I found the people I had to deal with from the DWP were downright rude and very ignorant. The system is also dreadful - when I applied for IB my claim went to 5 different offices between Lancaster and Glasgow including my 2 local offices and I had to keep trying to track the claim down. I was eventually told by Glasgow that a decision had been made 6 weeks previously that I wasn’t entitled to benefit, but they had forgotten to send me a letter! Funny thing is, the teenage mums and drug addicts in my area never seem to have problems with their claims, but I have now worked out through the experience of others that cancer comes bottom of the list.