My partner has lung cancer and I wondered what help he can get

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Hi my partner has not had any dealings with McMillan and I just wondered if he was missing anything he is on gene therapy for a year he has a mortgage to pay and only has esa coming in is there anything we can claim for his mortgage is currently on a six month break but he’s talking about going to work and he’s not well !! Please help 

  • Hi Steph

    Thank you for contacting Macmillan Cancer Support. My name is Linda and I am one of the Work Support Advisers here. I can advise on your partners Rights at Work and what potential support can be offered by the Employer. I do understand that your partner is currently not fit enough to work.

    It is important to remember that cancer patients are protected under the Equality Act 2010 (or Disability Discrimination 1995 if you live in Northern Ireland) from the date of your diagnosis, this remains in place for as long as is needed. Cancer is automatically recognised as a disability under the Act and this means that his employer must not discriminate against him because of the cancer, or for reasons relating to it. 

    You may wish to refer to our booklet ‘Your Rights at Work when Affected by Cancer’ for further information .

    Your partner can also ask his Employer to consider reasonable adjustments to support him as and when he feels able to return to work. Examples of this may be working reduced hours or lighter duties at work.

    Reasonable adjustments remove or minimise disadvantages experienced by disabled people. Employers must make reasonable adjustments to ensure disabled people are not disadvantaged in the workplace.  Employers do have the right to follow their own sickness and absence policy but they should also make sure policies and practices do not put disabled people at a disadvantage.

    Reasonable adjustments template letter - soft approach.docx

    You do not mention how long your partner has been off work. Does this mean that any sick pay entitlement has been exhausted ? Employment Support Allowance (ESA) is a State Benefit. I do think it may be helpful for you to speak to one of our Welfare Rights Advisers so that you partner can have a full Benefit Check to see if any further financial support may be available to him. Unfortunately, our Welfare Rights Team are currently not represented on our “ Ask an Expert” online community page. They can be contacted between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am until 5pm Saturday and Sunday on 0808 808 0000, options 1, 2 and 2; via email or using our webchat service.

    We also have a team of Financial Guides who can provide guidance on personal finance and Mortgages are one of their areas of expertise. It may be helpful for your partner to also have a chat with them. They are available on 0808 808 0000 Monday to Friday 8am – 6pm by pressing option 1, option 2, option 1. They are represented on our Ask and Expert page  here


    I hope this information has been helpful but please do not hesitate to get back in touch with us if you require any further support.


    Kind Regards


    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