Disability Living Allowance

Can you claim DLA when you have been diagnosed with BC?

Not sure only norm if u have secondarys but I cld be wrong it prob depends how it effects u

Hi I applied and didnt get it,

I appealed but still didnt get it,

I think it depends what your prognosis is, and I was lead to believe that the assumption is once you have had your treatment, chemo, rads etc you no longer have the condition, so its not an ongoing ailment!!!

They have Special Rules, which apply to some people, it would be interesting to know if I have mis-understood how it works because I would apply again,

All the very best Liz xxx

From what I understand you wouldn’t be eligible if your BC hasn’t spread as having treatment for BC wouldn’t fit the criteria. I haven’t seen anyone on here with primary BC getting it but if they have maybe they will let you know. Special Rules do apply for people with the different prognosis that secondary BC brings but DLA awarded does differ depending how your mets affect your mobility etc.

Thank you! I didn’t think you could. But, friends and family were sure I would be eligible …

Hi Nicky,

I know several people that are in receipt of DLA and have things like back pain, bad legs etc, etc,

It doesnt seem fair to me that you cannot get help whilst on chemo, and having rads, surgery etc,

for me personally i was floored by the chemo, and fatigued by the rads, surgery not much better still got pain, and restricted movement, tax left me with problems walking etc, sorry for the moan lol,

It needs looking into, surely you can get some help from somewhere???

At 45 I feel more like 65, I know there are people a lot worse than me and they carnt get any help either, because their long term prognosis is good!!!

What the heck is going on.

Liz xxx

You won’t be eligible purely on the basis of a primary diagnosis. To get DLA you either have to be terminally ill or have an ongoing ailment which severely effects your mobility or ability to care for yourself. To get the mobility component you have to be ‘unable or virtually unable to walk without severe discomfort’ Of course, what constituted severe discomfort for one person may be just a mild ache to someone else but if you can walk more than 30 yards without needing to stop and sit down or if walking more than 30 yards would result in you being in severe pain afterwards, it’s unlikely you’d qualify. Care needs can encompass everything from needing to have someone make you a cup of tea and lend a listening ear to having to have help with washing, dressing and feeding yourself but you would have to demonstrate that you need care for at least 30 hours a week.

If you don’t qualify for DLA and you’ve worked in the recent past, you might still qualify for ESA which is much less stringent.

Hi well this is my argument crawfo64, I appreciate that once you have had the chemo then hopefully the ses go away, thats fair enough, but whilst having the treatment I for one, had round about 5 days each regime when I couldnt even get out of bed!!! and physically had to crawl on all fours to the bathroom, let alone walk,

Whilst I fully appreciate and thank goodness that ses do go away, surely there should be something you can claim short term maybe DLA not the right benefit,

on ESA you have to fill in a medical questionnaire, supply med certs and possibly attend a medical to determine which category they are going to put you in, and to decide whether you are entitled to premiums, do you know what its bad enough feeling like c**p without having to go through all of that, I couldnt even grip the pen lol,

oh well never mind, chin up, I carnt help but think, it isnt understood enough the long term effects this condition has on us,

I fully appreciate and understand the criteria now, but still feel that it isnt fair, and something should be in place short term for cancer patients who have a good prognosis but still need help whilst receiving their treatment,

best wishes Liz nxxx

To be fair, and please don’t take this the wrong way, but DLA isn’t a sickness benefit. No one is denying that Chemo makes you feel crappy but that doesn’t mean you should automatically qualify for a benefit that is meant to help people who are severely disabled. I can sympathise with you because I’ve been there more than once having more than one underlying medical condition apart from breast cancer, both of which are quite serious but don’t effect my ability to get around or care for myself(epilepsy and osteoporosis.) The fact that you know people who are getting it but in your opinion aren’t that bad, is neither here nor there. Even if they are not as bad as you say, two wrongs don’t make a right.

Sorry, I really didn’t mean to lecture, I’m just pointing out an alternative viewpoint.

Hi crawfo64,

absolutely bang on there, and now you have put it as you have I can see what DLA is all about, where as before I couldnt,

and as with everything you are always going to get the people who will ‘take advantage’ arent you?

Just grateful to be getting better and able to look after myself, unlike some who are a lot worse off,

thanks for your comments, you are right it does make more sense when looked at from an alternative view point

wishing you all the very best Liz xx

A lot of people need care because of bc treatments. The essence of DLA is that it allows you to live a full life bceause of your disabilty, eg to use mobility money for taxis if you are not able to use public transport or able to drive.

There are lots of people that get DLA for a primary diagnosis. I was one of them 11 years ago, for about 6 months. A lot of people do not meet the qualifying criteria periods. You have to have had the condition for 3 months (before qualifying) and it has to be likely to last a further 6.
A lot of people with bc may have surgery, rads and then chemo. It is how much help you need within this period. A lot of people do not need care that continually.It is not awarded because of the condition but how you cope with it. Some people may breeze through things, others may have problems or complications.

I will use myself as an example as I was awrded DLA for primary bc. I was misdiagnosed for 12 months prior to my eventual diagnosis. I had watched my mum die as a child from bc.It was horrific and I lived in fear of it from the age of 12. For about 6 months before I was eventually diagnosed I had severe ibs, massive anxiety and panic attacks as I knew I had cancer.Even when I had a 3cm lump I was told it was an axiety issue by a very arrogant general surgeon.

I had neo-adjuvant chemo for 4 months and was very ill, physically but also emotionally. I applied for DLA at that time. Originally I was turned down. However then I had a double mastectomy with immediate recon (tram flap). I rang and told them this and was awarded the benefit as I was still due to have rads and more chemo (hence meeting the time limits).

My award was given because of the severity of my anxiety, effects of chemo, surgery etc.
I was not able to care for my 3 year old daughter, had no help and used my money to pay for a cleaner and carer (my husband was working away). Never once did I feel i was taking advantage, it was the only way we could hope as had no help from family.

Eventually I improved and so informed the DWP.

By the way ESA is much ‘more’ stringent than DLA and they are two totally different benefits with different criteria.
DLA itself is a very difficult benefit to get and medical evidence is required to back up your claims, looking at very specific criteria.
People that exxagerate their conditions are breaking the law, be it on their heads. However making sweeping generalisations about how people cope with chemo cannot help anyone.


Hi Julie,

I am convinced that my oncs report would have stated I was experiencing side effects which would go away once I had finished chemo, however a lot of the times I saw him he didnt even make a note of exactly what I was saying to him and I still dont think he takes much notice of what I am saying even now, I have 3 rads out of 15 to complete the course, then I have told him my surgeon has agreed to do a mx on the other side as a preventative measure,

so from my diagnosis last October to completion of rads is 8 months then further surgery and recovery,

I still got turned down for DLA even though I explained on my form all the things I was unable to do virtually everything for pretty much the whole of my chemo I had 6 tax @3 weekly intervals,

I felt very let down by the whole system I have 3 children to care for without any help, and have found it very, very difficult,

even now I feel like appealing again, I am still affected by on going ses fingers, feet, and very tired whilst having rads,

what do you think?

best wishes Liz xx

Hi aramis12, I have a recent diagnosis and will be having my MX this week. I am not even thinking about the financial side of things as I’m hoping that my life will be back to normal asap. A year before my father died he suffered a debilitating stroke and needed a high level of care. I completed a DLA form on his behalf but his application was refused. I remember indignantly ringing the DLA office and being told that I hadn’t provided the correct medical evidence or explained his care needs properly on the form.

I subsequently discovered that a successful application depends greatly on detailed and specific responses. That is why it is best to go direct to a benefit advisor with experience in this area i.e. CAB/McMillan. There is also an excellent online advice site called ‘Benefits and Work’, I know they charge a small annual fee, but by using their guides I successfully appealed my father’s case. Everyone’s care needs are unique but at least by getting expert advice you will know for sure if you have any entitlement.

Good luck!