Benefits whilst unable to work

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My partner has just been diagnosed with cancer. The consultant said he will be off work for at least 6 months whilst he has his chemotherapy. We have 3 children 20, 16 and 2. I work 31 hours but my wage won't cover everything. What benefits could we claim to help us financially get through this. 

We have just brought a house too and have no health insurance. 



  • Hello  

    My name is Polly and I am a work support advisor on the Macmillan support line. I specialise in advising people about their employment rights. I can answer questions about work and about worries around employment. I am so sorry to hear about your partner's diagnosis and your financial worries.

    The first step is to check what sick pay arrangements your partner has with his employer. Sick pay tends to vary with some employers paying full pay for a period while others pay the minimum which is Statutory Sick Pay (£99.35 pw). Please see the information on the ACAS website. Your partner will need to tell the employer when he starts his sick leave and provide them with a fit note from a health professional (e.g. GP) that confirms that he cannot work.

    Please see our booklets Work and Cancer  and  Help with the cost of cancer.

    Once you know the sick pay arrangements then my colleagues on the welfare rights team can help you identify any benefit entitlement. You may also want to speak to our financial guides who can guide you about dealing with your mortgage.

    Please ring them on the Macmillan support line number 0808 808 0000. To get through to Welfare Rights you need to select option 1, option 2 and then option 2 again. You will need details of your family income, savings, mortgage, and Council Tax.

    Here is a link to information about the Macmillan support line.


    Work Support Advisor
    Remember you can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or by email