Finances and cancer treatment etc

Hi everyone, I had my surgery in May and am still off work until at least after my treatment which ends in the middle of August. My question is has anyone else looked at financial grants or help with paying bills whilst off and if so how? Although I am receiving my monthly pay I am struggling with additional costs of food, etc while I am off which is starting to stress me a little. Is it worth contacting loan or credit cards to advise them of my diagnosis and treatment?

9 Replies

  • Sorry to read if your problems this is the last thing you need, the best advice I can give you is get in touch with your local CAB, I went to mine with all my bills etc inc credit cards, the advisor did letters on my behalf and got me a lot of help, we also approached my energy company who have a trust fund to help people who have financial problems due to illness and they kindly gave me a grant, there's also a local charity and we approached them and they too gave a small amount of financial help, also ring MacMillan and see if they can offer any help, it's also remembering that with a cancer diagnosis your are classed as having a disability and, in those grounds, my water company have reduced the amount I pay monthly, I hope this makes sense, I was where you are a couple of years back so I felt compelled to reply despite just getting in from work, I wish you well, help is out there if you know where to look xxxx

  • Just a quick PS to my last reply, it may be worth getting in contact with your utility suppliers and let them know you are now disabled, there may be some extra support for you through that

  • Thanks so much for that! I have already been in contact with Npower who have reduced my monthly gas and electric to £10 per month yay! Next is the water company - totally exhausting work!

  • Hi moo, just thought of something else that I encountered on my cancer journey regarding finances, I had to claim housing benefit whilst off sick, when I went back to work i notified the council, but due the way my local council work they carried on paying my, eventually realising their error I received an invoice for the overpaid amount, cue many tears, I got in touch with them and we worked out a payment plan to pay back a small amount each month, I forget the actual amount but it would have taken 3 yrs to pay it back had my mum not given me the money, so that I could clear that. Also on my journey I was not able to use my years work holiday entitlement due to being off sick, company policy, which I fully respect, says you don't carry holiday over, I found something about employment law through the internet which states, this is from very important people I forget who although I've got the details here, High Court Judge or similiar, that if you've been off sick you can, another visit to CAB, big boss wasn't happy but he had to give in in the end so I was able to use the days I lost. If you, or any else needs the legal bits put a post up and I'll find them and put it out there x

  • Thanks Jenny! I have just applied for Council Tax Support online and have provided proof of tax credits, but can't send my pay slips as they are online at work! I understand from HMRC tonight that from September my tax credits will go up significantly which will be a massive help!

  • You do indeed continue to accrue your holiday entitlement. I was off for ten months so had my outstanding holiday paid to me. As I had, by then, ran to the end of my SSP i asked them to split the pay over my next two salary payments. I returned in Jan of this year (a year after diagnosis having had two ops, chemical, radio and on tamoxifen), on an 8hpw phase Two mornings of four hours each. What I did not realise (and I am the company's HR!) was that I was eligible to claim Employment Support Allowance under permitted working hours (less than 16pw and don't earn more than £107pw). It's been a life saver as I was not claiming any other benefits like working tax etc, and unfortunately, I have struggled to step up hours to any significance due to psychological effects and continued tiredness. McMillan should be able to advise. Good luck

  • Do you have life assurance cover? If so you shoukd have critical/serious illness cover which you can claim for. Also look at what benefits you are entitled to. If you speak to cancer support services they may be able to guide you further. You may be entitled to all medical expenses too. I definitely would not go the loan route personally. Speak to al your creditors they may be able ro re arrange any payment plans you have. Goid luck. Lainey xxx

  • Moo, if you ring the Macmillan financial support peeps they will help you look into all of this, they will actually tell you what you are entitled to and they also award grants for people struggling. Good luck with it. It's an exhausting part of being off isn't it. Take care xx

  • Hi Moo, you can also call Breast Cancer Haven as they have finance and information specialists that can help. Don't worry if you're not located near to one of their centres as they can have a telephone chat. Their website is

    Best wishes,xxx

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