Having a serious health condition can take a toll on one’s finances as incomes drop and expenses rise. This is why we aim to explore through this article whether you can claim benefits if you have cancer. We will discuss the eligibility criteria for benefits you may be able to claim and how to apply for them.

Can You Claim Benefits If You Have Cancer?

Yes, you can claim certain benefits if you have cancer or you are taking care of someone who has cancer. You may also be eligible for additional benefits if your cancer is advanced or your medical condition is declared as a disability due to health.

Benefits payments are provided for cancer patients by the UK government to help them with medical, housing and childcare costs. These include the following:

  • Income Support: If you are unable to work because of your cancer, you may be eligible for Income Support. This is a means-tested benefit, which means that your eligibility will depend on your household income.
  • Employment and Support Allowance: If you are unable to work because of your cancer, you may be eligible for Employment and Support Allowance. ESA is a benefit for people who are unable to work because of an illness or disability.
  • Disability Living Allowance: If you have cancer and it has resulted in you needing extra help with personal care or mobility, you may be eligible for Disability Living Allowance. DLA is a non-means-tested benefit, which means that your eligibility will not depend on your household income.
  • Personal Independence Payment: If you have cancer and it has resulted in you needing extra help with personal care or mobility, you may be eligible for Personal Independence Payment. PIP is a non-means-tested benefit, which means that your eligibility will not depend on your household income.
  • Carer’s Allowance: If you are caring for someone with cancer, you may be eligible for Carer’s Allowance. This is a means-tested benefit, which means that your eligibility will depend on your household income.
  • Bereavement Support Payment: If your partner has died as a result of cancer, you may be eligible for Bereavement Support Payment. This is a one-off payment to help with funeral costs and other expenses.
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit: If you have developed cancer as a result of your work, you may be eligible for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit. IIDB is a non-means-tested benefit, which means that your eligibility will not depend on your household income.
  • War Pension Scheme: If you have cancer and it is due to your service in the armed forces, you may be eligible for a War Pension. This is a non-means-tested benefit, which means that your eligibility will not depend on your household income.

Additionally, if you are receiving treatment for cancer, you may be eligible for a Cancer Treatment Grant. This is a one-off payment to help with the costs of treatment. 

If you have cancer and are on a low income, you may also be eligible for support from Macmillan Cancer Support. This includes financial support, practical support, and emotional support.

How Do You Claim Disability Living Allowance If You Have Cancer?

To claim Disability Living Allowance, a cancer patient should be able to meet the below eligibility criteria:

  • be under 16 years of age
  • living in England, Wales, a European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland
  • lived in the UK Great Britain for a minimum period of 6 of the recent 1 year (this applies to a child above 3 years of age)
  • be a habitual resident of the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands
  • should not be subject to immigration control
  • require additional care or have walking difficulties

You’ll need to give information about cancer and how it affects you (or our child, whoever is the claimant). You’ll also need to provide evidence from your doctor or consultant.

Once you have gathered the evidence, you can make a claim for DLA. You can either apply for DLA using the DLA1 Child (ALT) claim form online or call the Disability Living Allowance helpline at 0800 121 4600 and ask for a printed form. Once you’ve filled out the form and added the relevant supportive evidence, you can post it to Freepost DWP DLA Child.

DLA claims for children can either be made by their parents, step-parents, guardians, grandparents, foster parents or older brothers or sisters.

It can take up to 12 weeks to get a decision on your claim. If you’re approved for DLA, you’ll get a letter telling you how much you’ll get and for how long.

You’ll get payments every four weeks, and you can choose to have them paid into your bank account or by cheque.

How Do You Claim Attendance Allowance If You Have Cancer?

You can claim Attendance Allowance by filling out the Attendance Allowance claim form online or in writing and sending it to Freepost DWP Attendance Allowance via post.

To do this, you will need to get a medical certificate from your GP or hospital doctor that states that you have cancer. You will also need to get a letter from your cancer specialist which confirms your diagnosis and that you are receiving treatment for your cancer.

Once you have gathered this evidence, you will need to send it to the DWP along with your Attendance Allowance claim form.

The amount that you can claim will vary as follows:

  • you will receive the lower rate of £61.85 if you require frequent help or regular supervision during the day, or to be looked after at night
  • you can claim the higher rate of £92.40 if you need supervision throughout the day and night

These payments are made to help you with the extra costs associated with your cancer, such as travel costs to and from hospital appointments.

How Do You Claim PIP If You Have Cancer?

To claim PIP, you must first have been diagnosed with cancer by a healthcare professional. You will then need to fill in a PIP claim form, which can be obtained from your local Jobcentre Plus office or by calling the PIP enquiry line.

Once you have completed the form, you will need to send it to the PIP assessment team along with any supporting evidence, such as a medical report from your GP or consultant. The assessment team will then decide whether you are eligible for PIP and, if so, how much you will receive.

If you are eligible for PIP, you will receive a daily living allowance and/or a mobility allowance, depending on your needs. The amount you receive will be reviewed on a regular basis and may increase or decrease depending on your changing circumstances. You can expect payments to be between £61.85 and £92.40 for the Daily Living Part and between £24.45 and £64.50 for the Mobility Part.

If you have cancer and are claiming PIP, you may also be eligible for other benefits, such as Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

You can claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP) by contacting the Disability Service Centre or calling them on 0800 917 2222. 

If you have any questions about claiming PIP or would like more information about the benefits available to cancer patients in the UK, please contact Cancer Research UK’s cancer information nurses on freephone 0808 800 4040.

How Do You Claim ESA If You Have Cancer?

To claim ESA in case of being diagnosed with cancer, you will first need to have a medical certificate from your GP or oncologist stating that you have cancer. This is necessary in order to prove to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that you are unable to work.

Once you have your medical certificate, you can apply online or call the Jobcentre Plus new claims helpline at 0800 055 6688.

You will also need to fill out a form called an ESA50. This form is available on the DWP website or from your local Jobcentre Plus. The form will ask for basic information about your cancer, your treatment, and your prognosis to assess your ability to work while you claim benefits.

Once the DWP has received your ESA50, they will assess your claim and decide whether or not you are eligible for Employment and Support Allowance. If you are eligible, you will be placed in one of two groups: the support group or the work-related activity group.

Once you have been placed in either the support group or the work-related activity group, you will receive your ESA payments every two or four weeks. These payments are made directly into your bank account.

The amount that you can claim through ESA will depend on your age, your condition and your ability to return to the workforce. Therefore, you can expect a weekly payment of up to £77.00 if you’re in the work-related activity group and up to £117.60 per week if you’re in the support group.

Do You Have To Work When You Claim Benefits For Cancer?

Whether or not you will have to work while you claim benefits for cancer will depend on the results of your Work Capability Assessment. This is an assessment tool which is used to decide whether or benefits claimants you are fit for work. 

The assessment will take into account your cancer, your treatment, and your prognosis. If the assessor decides that you are not fit for work, you will be placed in the support group. If the assessor decides that you are fit for work, you will be placed in the work-related activity group.

If you are placed in the support group, this means that the DWP has decided that you are too ill to work. You will not be required to do any work-related activity and will receive the maximum amount of ESA or Universal Credit (whichever is applicable).

If you are placed in the work-related activity group, this means that the DWP believes that you are well enough to do some limited work. You may be required to do some work-related activity, such as attending job interviews or training courses. You will receive a reduced amount of ESA or Universal Credit, but you may also be eligible for other benefits, such as Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Once you have been assessed by the DWP, you will be sent a letter telling you whether or not you have been successful in your claim. If you are successful, you will be asked to attend an interview at your local Jobcentre Plus. 

Conclusion:

The above discussion brings us to the conclusion that if someone has cancer they will be able to claim certain means-tested as well as some non-means-tested benefits. Since cancer is a serious health condition, a severe case can lead to being classed as a disability which makes the patient eligible for disability benefits. Meanwhile, the additional cost of living expenses and the patient’s reduced income and savings due to the inability to work will qualify them for means-tested benefits.

FAQs: Can You Claim Benefits If You Have Cancer?

Is cancer classed as a disability?

Yes, according to the Equality Act 2010, cancer is classed as a disability along with HIV and MS.

Do you get PIP if you have cancer?

Yes, you can claim PIP if you have cancer, are older than 16 years of age and are under the State Pension age.

Can you claim Universal Credit if you have cancer?

Yes, you can claim Universal Credit if you have cancer and are on a low income. You can also claim the benefit if you are on a low income because you are taking care of someone with cancer.

What type of cancers qualify for disability?

Generally speaking, all forms of cancer qualify the patient for disability and to receive the relevant benefits. However, patients in the later stages of cancer will receive payment through benefits earlier than others.

Can you get council tax reduction if you have cancer?

Yes, you may be able to get a council tax reduction or other financial support for housing costs if you have cancer.

References:

What benefits can I claim? | Coping with cancer.

Cancer and your finances: Benefits you may be entitled to | This is Money

Could you claim benefits? – Young Lives vs Cancer