Who to Inform & Financial Matters

Hi Everyone

I hope someone can throw some light on this for me. Now I am diagnosed with Breast Cancer who do I need to inform? I have informed my employer and they are aware I am going to be away for some time. Fortunately I get full pay for about 6 months and then would get half pay for a further 6 months. I wonder whether I should inform my mortgage and car insurance companies?

I do have a mortgage repayment policy which will pay my mortgage for up to 24 months and wonder whether to claim now or wait until I go onto half pay if I need to have that much time off. Or maybe I should take advantage of the extra income to use for travelling to hospital costs and other expenses.


Have you got Critical Ilness cover? if you have look at the details and it may help to paying your mortgage.


Hi Louise,

No unfortunately when I changed my mortgage product a few years ago I dispensed with it because it was so expensive. I just have the repayment insurance, I think I can claim any time after 30 days and am likely to be off work a while and it pays the mortgage payment plus 25% for other expenses.

Make sure you get a prescription charge exemption form filled in by your doc, as you are entitled. Some car insurance companies like to know if you are driving on chemo, some don’t. Can’t think of anything else really. Dx

oops, didnt occur to me to tell my car insurers!

If the mortgage insurance will pay out even when you are on sick pay, then wouldnt it be worth claiming it anyway and sticking any surplus cash you get into savings account? You are hopefully very likely to be back at work within a year , so may as well claim it sooner rather than later and bank any difference. Plus, if you go back part time, then presumably your insurance would not pay the difference so having a nice lump sum to offset the effects for a bit would be good. Finally, if you did have to have extra time off for any reason then the money would be in the bank waiting to be used anyway. If that all makes sense…!


Thanks everyone, If anyone has any other suggestions please feel free. Thanks Vickie. Perfect sense! I will get onto them right away for a claim form. Think I will wait and see if chemo is necessary before I inform car insurance co.

Suzie dont forget you can claim employment support allowance from when you go on 1/2 pay .I filled the forms in about a month before and it was ready for me and paid directly into bank .i wasnt looking forward to getting 1/2 pay but its actually more than 1/2 because you pay less tax and national insurance so im actually only £ 60 month worse off than full pay and after so many weeks it goes up so wont even be that worse off.Tell them you are having specialist treatment ( chemo , Rads ) and i didnt have to go for interview just done it over the phonexx julie


Make sure you check out your terms and conditions at work, with you saying your on half pay for 6 months sounds like your in a large company. Some of your sick leave may be considered as Disability Adjustment Leave which covers surgery, chemo and Rads treatment and normally doesnt get treated as being sick leave, so can lengthen the time before your pay is reduced. Check it out with your HR/personel dept.


Julie I was really interested in your comment about employment support allowance as I will not be too long now before I move to 1/2 pay. As I am single this will hit me quite hard. Part of me feels I should get back to work by then but my energy levels tell me otherwise. Also must check out thisDisability Adjustment Leave although I have finished ‘active’ treatment. Ladies many thanks for your info. Jackie

A thought on the mortgage cover. It may be wrth waiting a little while. Interest rates are low at the moment. They may stay as they are for a while, or they may go up.

If rates rise, delaying means you get more money effectively as the cover is paying the higher payments.

This does need to be balanced against limits on when you can claim.


Do check out your situation regarding DAL, my HR department adjusted my sick leave to swop some of it for DAL and that was 5 months after. Although I wasnt at the point of going onto 1/2 pay am likely to have recon in the next year so wanted to protect it as much as poss. Alx

Alex Thanks for this. I will ring my HR dept. Unfortunately I had very unpleasant experience with one of them just before I finished work. I managed to fall foul of the sickness policy having the whole day, yes all 7.5 hrs of it off for the 4,5 and 6th chemos, at my managers insistence. This constituted 3 separate episodes of sickness in a short period. I was told that my sick leave would be monitored closely by HR who knew why I had been off.I was spoken to as though I were skiving and malingering. I ended up using A/L for my WLE and ANC.Clearly all that was discriminatory but I try not to draw attention to myself and have been keeping my head down.There is a nice young man in that dept so will try him tomorrow. Thanks again.Jackie

Thanks to all yor interesting info, I have just joined the forum today and have already found some fantastic advice. thanks again scardylady

you should not have to use anual leave for treatment ladies and if i were you i would download a copy of Disability discrimination act that you will find on local government website or i think its on here because anyone diagnosed with cancer of any kind is protected by this act and its illegal for them to not to give you time off for treatments consultations and to make reasonable adjustments to working place and hours so i would give them a copy at your next meeting ( have you got a occupational health dept ) because mine has been very helpfull and supportive and will liase with managers and HR depts. x Julie
Libby you will probably get more than me if your single and have children you will be able to claim for them aswell I could just get basic because i am married and my husband also works but there is other benefits like housing benefit etc if you are a single parent ring your local DSS or jobcentre plus and explain your circumstances and wish to apply for employment support allowance and any other help you are entitled to

Hi everybody.

I worked through much of my Chemo and my boss was very supportive, unfortuately she became seriously ill and went long term sick. As a result I was given another manager. I had a mastectomy after 8 chemo sessions and I asked my new manager if I could have a phased return as I felt I would struggle if I returned full time. She refused, so I took leave in order to cope. I now realise that I should have taken her on but at the time my resources were somewhat depleted. I am still angry at how I was treated by this woman. I think she was deliberately trying to make things difficult for me as she had someone else lined up for my job. I have secondaries and she knew this.

I think I would have dealt with it better if I had known about sites like this.

I did recover some ground as I asked to referred to occupational health and stipulated the adjustements that I thought were reasonable. I am given time off for ongoing treatment, scans etc.

I am no longer managed by this horrible woman thankfully as during rads she moved me to an office in another area.

Well Ladies think I may have managed to open a can of worms this morning with the Disability Adjustment Leave thing.Back ground I managed to form a large and exceedingly painful abscess on my abdo wall at the same time as I was having 2nd re-excision surgery for better margins. Long story short since June I have been on continual a-bs and have 2 excisions now for the wound and daily-3/4 times a week irrigation/ packing and dressings at my GP surgery and now need ,more surgery on that at the same time as I was having rads. The implication is that this has been chemo induced.I have been completely floored with the high level of infection and the surgery to this, on top of all BC treatments.And cannot get back to work as soon as I had hoped ( I worked through chemo)Sooo rang HR this am to be told that the NHS has a very generous sick leave policy- yes they do but try 6-8 chemos and surgeries and see how far that gets you .).).)So as I had an appt at hosp decided to call into McM centre and the benefits lady there did not know of this either.But she rang me at home late this afternoon having found out about this and was really pleased as this is info she can use for other cancer patients.Not sure where we will go with this a ‘work in progress’. Thank you for your info, knowledge and as always your support. Hope you are also as OK as poss in whatever you are up to.Very best wishes Jackie

Hi everybody

This has been a really usefull thread. I have a work colleague who has recently been diagnosed with ovarian cancer stage IV with secondaries. She told me today that she was negociating returning to work. I was able to explain to her that she didn’t need to negociate as she was covered by the DDA. I also advised to ask for referal to occupational health. She was asking about how the employers will be recording her sickness whilst she is receiving treatment, is having Chemo a sickness day. I don’t think it is.

I will let her know about the prescriptions and the disability adjustment leave.

My neighbour has had to work all the way through chemo for Stage IV ovarian cancer because her employers threatened to sack her (they also did this when she had her hysterectomy and she went back to work 5 weeks early). She is a bus driver and the company have got round the DDA stuff by giving her a desk job for a bit. Another reason she has had to keep going is because the DWP told her she wouldn’t be entitled to benefits when her SSP ran out as her partner has a job. She’s had all sorts of people involved like Macmillan, the CAB etc., and nobody could help. Her sister has even come up from London to look after her and attend all the meetings with her area manager.

I think it is absolutely disgusting - she recently had to be taken off Taxol as the oncologists feared the joint pains could end up putting her in a wheelchair. Her employers don’t seem to have any compassion and she told me a colleague was sacked after having a heart attack last year.