Employment and finances

I have been working for 1 year and 1 month. I sent in my sick notes in to my employers and they sent them back saying i wasn’t entitled to any money as i didn’t have enough credits. I seem to have come up against a brick wall. My daughter has rang the job centre up and they said i couldn’t claim any job seekers allowance either. I filled in a form for and sent it off to medical support for pensions and they said i am not entitled. I get the same answer from all of them that if i have a husband that is why they wont pay me anything, also the welfare came out to see me and she said the same so i dont knoe what else to do as i am not well enought to go back to work yet. I wish i was it feels like it is my fault that they are penelising me. Help

But you get statutory sick pay.

Check this link

Not sure why your daughter think you should get jobseeker’s allowance though.

Hello I have been refused SSP from my employer and social because they said I have not earnt enough credits. My employer sent me my sick notes back saying I wasn’t entitled to any sick pay. I’ve sent the form ESA50 ESA back after i had filled it in the first week in February have not heard anything, my husband phoned and kept getting turned off. My daughter phoned them up on 18 March 2009 and they told her i will not get any money. This is called the Medical Services at Nottingham Department for work and pensions. I had a welfare worker came out to see me on 17th March 2009 and she said i cannot claim any as i have a husband so therefore i am not entitled to any.Thank-you Lindalou

Last year I was seeking work so made a claim for JSA but told them that I had a date a couple of weeks into the future for a WLE followed by rads. They suggested I forget claiming JSA and just claim incapacity benefit which I did as my GP gave me a doctor’s note.

However, although I was able to do this, it was based upon my specific National Insurance contributions for a particular two year tax period (I can’t remember which particular years).

If you have only been working for 1 year and 1 month then it is probably that you have not paid in enough NI contributions to receive any sickness benefits. You cannot claim JSA because you have to be unemployed to do so and you aren’t - you have a job but are off sick from it.

If you lived alone then you would be paid Income support but as you have a partner it is his responsibility to provide financial assistance. I know it is unfortunate given the circumstances but we are only allowed to claim benefits if we have made enough contributions.

I don’t know whether all benefits are paid based on NI contributions though. Have you tried to google Disability living allowance or Attendance allowance to see if you might be able to claim these?

Hello Lindalou
Its a horrible system which does nothing for your sense of wellbeing unfortunately.
It is true that you cannot claim any contributory benefit until you have paid enough national insurance contributions-2 full years worth. And ,as you have said ,with a partner you cannot claim income based benefits.
But your partner can try for working tax credits and also housing benefit if you rent your home.Maybe also council tax benefit in some circumstances.

Disability living allowance may be a thought -although you will normally need to have been disabled for 3 months and the disability is likely to continue for another 3 months ( this is just a rough guide).Attendance allowance is for older people with disabilities.

There are a couple of other avenues for some monetary relief .One is from the Macmillan cancer fund. An application can be filled in for you by your BCN and it goes forward for consideration.This is very helpful if you have an expense such as car insurance to pay or a new cooker to replace for instance. Worth a try even if you just need help with day to day bills.
Also, if either you or your husband is in a union, it is worth trying the unions benevolent society. I know that many benevolent societies struggle to spend their money and would look favourably on an application for a cancer patient. Its always worth playing the cancer card since the normal channels have let you down.

I do hope you try these or other avenues. Its bad enough wothout worrying about how to make ends meet.


Are you sure you dont get SSP? Its difficult to administer so it might be worth double checking…


Can I get it?
You must have worked for your employer under a contract of service. Even if it is your first day of work with a new employer and you become sick part way through the day you may be entitled to SSP.

To get SSP you must be:

Sick for at least 4 or more days in a row (including weekends and bank holidays). This is known as a Period of Incapacity for Work.
Earn, before tax and National Insurance an average of £90.00 a week. This is called the Lower Earnings Limit for National Insurance Contributions (NIC). The amount you need to earn is lower than the amount when you have to start paying NIC’s or would start paying if you were treated as an employed earner.
Your earnings are averaged, over an 8 week period before your sickness began. This period may vary slightly depending on whether you are paid weekly or monthly paid, or at other intervals. If you have just started your job the calculation may be different, contact your employer for more information.

If you answer YES to all the above, claim SSP

Hi Lindalou,

I suggest you ask your Macmillan nurse to make an appointment to see a benefits advisor-they will go through all your finances with you and tell you what you are entitled too.

You should also be getting SSP-everyone can get it if they are working and off sick for 4 or more days in a row.
I was only working part time(3 days a week)and I got about £75 a week.
You really need to check this out.

Alli x


i had been working for my company only 7 months when i was diagnosed with BC and they paid me SSP. I think that every employer has to pay you SSP it is there duty. After SSP you have to apply for incapacity benefit. If your work are not paying you SSP it is probably best for you to go straight for Incapacity which entitles you to more. Council Tax benefit, Housing Benefit . You need also to apply for DLA care and mobility componant. If you are refused DLA appeal, i did this and was awarded middle rate inthe end.

Try and get an appointment with CAB they will tell you all you are entitled to and fill in the forms too.

Good luck with it all
Karen x

Hi, I was signing on as unemployed when I was diagnosed in 2006, but unable to get JSA as I had a 3 month gap in NI due to having to take time out to care for my late father who had died the previous year. This meant I couldn’t get Incapacity Benefit and I was also turned down for DLA as they said I wasn’t disabled enough. 6 weeks before I was diagnosed my husband had started a small business that wasn’t making any money yet. We struggled along from the October to the following April using our savings to pay all the bills, cover hospital travel costs etc. Then Macmillan started a campaign regarding cancer patients not being able to access the benefits system and I emailed them to tell them my experience. 10 days later an adviser rang me to ask if I had been given any info on tax credits - it turned out we could have been getting WTC for all that time and the benefits people hadn’t given us any info. After 2 attempts we eventually managed to get £96 a week which was a godsend, I just wish we had known about this from the start, when I think of the amount of money we missed out on.

What irked me was that my Incapacity application went to 5 different offices around the country including my 2 local offices, yet nobody was prepared to make a decision on my case which meant I had to keep tracking the application down. I eventually found it in Glasgow where it had been turned down 2 weeks previously but they had omitted to send me the letter. At one point I had to contact an office in Edinburgh and the man I spoke to actually said to me “breast cancer is no excuse for trying to access the benefits system”; he then told me he was not prepared to discuss any medical details with me. I thought this was absolutely disgusting.

I was also angered by the fact that this was the first time since starting work in 1977 that I had a gap in NI and felt I was being penalised for being a carer. The gap was actually created by my local Jobcentre Plus giving me bad info on what to claim as a carer. They kept telling me to fill in forms for JSA which were then denied as I wasn’t a Jobseeker, this was despite what I was telling them about being a carer. I eventually managed to get Disabled Carers Allowance 6 months later, but as it could only be backdated for 3 months this caused the gap. My dad went into care 6 weeks later.

I think it is wrong that cancer patients are made to jump through hoops when it comes to benefits. In the case of my DLA claim, the decision was taken after they contacted my GP surgery who said I wasn’t ill enough, so I would like to know how GPs justify the amount of fit and able people who seem to get benefits so easily. When my husband spoke to a GP in the practice about this she said you have to have lost the use of your arms and legs to get DLA which is a load of absolute rubbish.


The Breast Cancer Care services team in Scotland are running an information session covering “Financial Support and Employment Issues” in Aberdeen on 3 September (10am-3pm).

Anyone wanting to attend should contact Natasha or Kerry on 0845 077 1892 or email <script type=“text/javascript”>eval(unescape(‘%64%6f%63%75%6d%65%6e%74%2e%77%72%69%74%65%28%27%3c%61%20%68%72%65%66%3d%22%6d%61%69%6c%74%6f%3a%73%63%6f%40%62%72%65%61%73%74%63%61%6e%63%65%72%63%61%72%65%2e%6f%72%67%2e%75%6b%22%3e%73%63%6f%40%62%72%65%61%73%74%63%61%6e%63%65%72%63%61%72%65%2e%6f%72%67%2e%75%6b%3c%2f%61%3e%27%29%3b’))</script>

June, moderator