IN DEBT ALREADY Hello everyone,

Just had to get this out! I have bc and have just started FEC treatment. Have had to give up job as a hairdressing receptionist - sorry, i just didn’t fancy sitting there with no hair whilst everyone else came in to have theirs done. The job was part-time and i was lucky in that i could fit it around school hours. I have 3 children, one is at university, and we try to support her financially so that she can better herself, the other two are still dependent. We are now down to one wage - my husband’s. We have been married for 20 years, lived in the same house for almost that, and i’ve always tried to have part-time jobs to fit in with raising my children and the money has helped get us by. We made a couple of mistakes by upping our mortgage just to give the kids holidays and home improvements, like a lot of our friends have done, as we didn’t want to move house, we thought we’d do it that way instead…now, we are broke - without my bit of money coming in, we’re having to borrow money until i get better - so now in debt! I understand that i probably won’t qualify for any benefits either - due to the fact that although husband’s wage is low, it is not low enough, plus we are not on income support - we feel penalised.

I find this unbelievable - it’s like we’re the forgotten ones - feel like we’ve struggled hard to stay together (not always been easy) and now, just when we could do with a little help (never claimed for anything ever before) we get nothing. Maybe i’m wrong, i hope so - don’t even think i’ll qualify for a wig either. I wonder how many others are going through this same thing - doesn’t seem fair to me.

morgaina x

reply Please go to the Citizens Advice Bureau. Have all the details of what you earn and pay out with you.

I went about Disability Living Allowance and although i did not qualify , the lady went through things and checked for anything else I may be entitled to. Council tax allowance and tax credts etc.

She was really helpful and there may be something you are entilted to.

I hope this helps
Take care

Dear morgaina You may find Breast Cancer Care’s factsheet called ‘Breast Cancer and Benefits’ helpful to read, you can read it via the following link:

You are also welcome to contact our freephone confidential helpline on 0808 800 6000, it is open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm and Saturday 9am-2pm for further advice and support.

Kind regards
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Breast Cancer Care

tax credits dear morgaina, now your not working you might qualify for working tax credits and child tax credits ,its worth a try as the benefits agency do nothing to help you only if you ask , i found myself in financial trouble when i left work and it took 6 weeks without money before my benefits were sorted out ,i used my overdraft and now owe quite a bit of money here there and everywhere!! its bad enough living with cancer and all that it invovles without financial worry as well!! also try macmillan cancer care, most based in your hospital for a grant .they maybe able to help you with a short term grant .they have been a real help to me ,and even had a short break through them. so ask away girl ,you dont get anything if you dont and the answer may be YES! i wish you luck let us know how you get on love lynn xx

Hi Morgaina You may be entitled to Incapacity Benefit - this is based on your NI contributions over the last 2 to 3 tax years. You would need to get a sick note from your doctor and he would probably give you one for 3 months, backdated to when you first left work. I know 2 girls who had to give up work due to BC, their husbands work and they are both getting Incapacity Benefit. I suspect it will also depend on the hours you work.

It’s worth phoning Jobcentreplus - you can do a claim over the phone.

Take care


I’m sure McMillian cancercare will help you.They paid my car tax while I was on chemo and even offered to give me a grant for new clothes if I’d lost or put on weight due to the treatment.(says a lot for the clothes I was wearing at the time - but I didn’t need any!!)The hospital social worker sorted everything for me.All I had to do was sign the forms…and as for a wig Morgaina I found the NHS ones terrible- you can get some great ones on e- bay from about £20.I got a real hair one from the States for £40.It looked so natural I was complemented on my hair on a number of occasions!

Best wishes, Josie.

Morgaina know how you feel…i had 10mths off work after dx, had lumpectomy, chemo, rads now on tamoxifen.
i had SSP from my employer and claimed on PAYMENT PROTECTION for credit cards etc.,…whe SSP stopped i had INCAPACITY BENEFIT for a short while…until on having a medical at local DHSS office 2mths after treatment finished…where the Doctor there asked me a lot of questions…then said ‘’ so its ONLY the cancer that worries you then’'!!..hence my benefit was stopped and i was firced to return to work [i’m a nursery nurse in childrens day nursery] sooner than i really felt both physically and mentally able…on hind sight i wish i had appealled aganst the decision.
As other have said contact Tax Credits, Incapacity Benefit, Council Tax Benefit, McMllian, CAB…I got and still do get very frustrated about the financial aspects surrounding a cancer dx…I have had to cancel all my payment protections now as you can only claim for critical once and the ones who didn’t say this could give me no straight answer as to wether or not should i be unfortunate and have to claim again they would pay out.
Remember you shouldn’t have to pay for your parking whilst having treament…my oncology centre issued monthly parking permits.

I hope you have some help from somewhere…would be interested to hear how things go.
Best wishes with your chemo


You might also try wigbank They take in wigs that are no longer needed by chemo patients, wash and clean them and then sell them on for 10-20 pounds.

Macmillan Grant Hi Morgaina

Please don’t suffer in silence. Macmillan will be able to help you. I’m cannot say if you will qualify for DLA or Incapacity Benefit but Macmillan will be able to give you a grant. I got a “one off” payment of £500 just after being diagnosed. At first I wasn’t too keen to take it from a cancer charity but was told this is something they like to support. They also have a booklet: HELP with the Cost of Cancer. Their telephone No. is 0800 500 800 or visit: It was my breast care nurse who filled out the form for me. Perhaps you could ask the next time you are at the hospital. It does say in the booklet that you need a short medical report from your doctor, consultant of Macmillan nurse so I would speak to your breast care nurse. From what I can remember she only wrote a couple of lines.

I hope that is helpful to you.

Good luck.


Thank you all Hi all,

Thank you for all your advice, I’m gonna look into this some more and will let you know what happens.

Morgaina xxx


As well as looking into all the excellent suggestions above, perhaps you could also ask about a “mortgage holiday” until you get yourself back to work? Lots of lenders now offer them, so maybe you could qualify? Just a thought.

Good luck,

Mel x