Ask a benefits adviser (closed)

Questions about benefits? Our adviser Moira is here this November to support carers for Carers Rights Day on the 24th. This session is now closed.
This session is currently closed

Go to our Ask an Expert section for further help or support. You can still read through the previous questions and answers. 

Ask a benefits adviser (closed)

Priscilla - admin
Posted by
Ceri, Macmillan benefits adviser Sinead, Macmillan benefits adviser Phil, Macmillan benefits adviser

Questions about benefits? Our benefits advisers will be here on the Community all month to answer them.

Ceri, Sinead and Phil work on the Macmillan Support Line. They help people with cancer and carers work out what benefits and financial help they can claim.

To ask a question, click the 'reply' button and post a reply to this discussion thread.

You will need to log in to or join the Online Community to post a question.

PLEASE NOTE: Ask a benefits adviser is now closed. Please call our support line if you need to speak to our advisers. The number is 0808 808 00 00 (Mon - Fri, 9-8).

You can post a question any time. One of our benefits team will aim to post a response in this discussion within two working days. To make sure you see your answer, tick 'email me replies' when you write your post.

You can speak to a benefits adviser by calling the free Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 0000 (Mon-Fri, 9am-8pm, free from landlines and most mobile networks).

All answers will be based on information that is correct at the time of posting. Benefits information can change over time, so call us for up-to-date information. Please bear in mind that your question can be read by others - don't post your contact details or any other information that could personally identify you.

 

mick the wolf
Posted by

Hi There.

My name is Michael and I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Bowel Cancer in June 2013.

I was Self employed at the time and with Macmillans help I was placed in the Support group of

Contribution based ESA. I have been on this ever  since, after being told I was in Remission in January this year only to be told 2 weeks ago that the Cancer has now returned in my Left Lung.

I  am due to collect my State Pension in January 2016.

Do you think I will be left alone until then and just end ESA when I become eligible for the State Pension.

I have received no Correspondence from the DWP since being informed of the Change in Benefit amounts in March 2015.

   Many thanks

   Michael

Phil N - Macmillan
Posted by

Hello Michael

I am sorry to hear that cancer has now been found in your left lung. Please get in touch with our helpline on 0808 808 00 00 if you would like to have a chat with us about it.

I very much feel that the DWP will leave your ESA claim alone until you reach your State Retirement age in January 2016. I have searched the 'advice for decision makers' and 'decision maker's guides' that the DWP publish for a definitive answer but I could not find anything that would confirm my feelings.

Please let us know If the DWP write to you about your award and invite you to a reassessment so that we can provide you with support and guidance at the time.

Phil

Macmillan Welfare Rights Adviser (Macmillan Support Line)

mizz59
Posted by

hi , I  am a 55 year old lady with invasive ductal carcinoma . surgery complete . currently going through chemotherapy and radiotherapy to follow . I work full time but currently on sick leave and have been since 16 march this year . I currently receive SSP through my employer but this will come to an end shortly I believe . what other benefits could I be entitled to ? . My husband does work full time .. will this affect any entitlement?

learn from yesterday

live for today

hope for tomorrow

mick the wolf
Posted by

   Hi There miss59.

    I know you have probably done this but if not have a word with a Macmillan Benefits advisor.

    They were a lifeline for me when I needed them and they are still when I need them.

    All the very best in your Cancer journey and best wishes for the future.

      Mick the Wolf.

Mollie the moggy
Posted by

Hello my teenage daughter has recently been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. She attends college full time and I am a single parent who works full time. I claim working tax and child tax. I have been advised by friends and parents to see if I am entitled to any additional funds to cover transport costs if nothing else. We are awaiting surgery followed by RAI treatment as of yet I do not know if I will be paid if I am away from work. 

Sinead-Macmillan
Posted by

mizz59

hi , I  am a 55 year old lady with invasive ductal carcinoma . surgery complete . currently going through chemotherapy and radiotherapy to follow . I work full time but currently on sick leave and have been since 16 march this year . I currently receive SSP through my employer but this will come to an end shortly I believe . what other benefits could I be entitled to ? . My husband does work full time .. will this affect any entitlement?

Hi there and thanks for your question.  I hope your treatment is going well and that you are recovering from your surgery.

You are entitled to receive SSP for up to 28 weeks of your illness.  When your SSP is due to come to an end, you may be entitled to some contributory benefits. Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is likely to be the most appropriate for your circumstances, if you meet the National Insurance contribution conditions and other eligibility criteria.  In general, you will meet the National Insurance contribution conditions if you worked and earned more than £5595 in the tax year ending 5 April 2013, and more than £5725 in the tax year ending 5 April 2014.

Your husband's earnings will not affect your entitlement to contributory benefits, but there may be other benefits you can access.

I would advise you to contact the Welfare Rights Team at Macmillan on 0808 808 0000 so that we can check whether you meet the eligibility criteria for ESA or any other benefits. 

I hope you find this information helpful. If you do have any further questions, or would like further information, please get in touch via email or call us on 0808 808 0000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm.

Sinead

Welfare Rights Adviser, Macmillan Support Line

Sinead,

Welfare Rights Team, Macmillan Support Line

Phil N - Macmillan
Posted by

Mollie the moggy

Hello my teenage daughter has recently been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. She attends college full time and I am a single parent who works full time. I claim working tax and child tax. I have been advised by friends and parents to see if I am entitled to any additional funds to cover transport costs if nothing else. We are awaiting surgery followed by RAI treatment as of yet I do not know if I will be paid if I am away from work. 

 Hello Mollie I am sorry to learn that your daughter has been diagnosed with Thyroid cancer. I hope you are both getting the support you need.

If your daughter is aged under 16 or 16, 17 or 18 and she is in full-time education, she is automatically entitled to free NHS treatment, sight tests, NHS prescriptions and help towards the cost of glasses. She will need to show evidence that she is in full-time education to the hospital cashier in order to be reimbursed for NHS treatment fares.

You and your daughter are also covered if you have been issued with an NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate as part of your Tax Credits award.

You and your daughter may be able to get financial support from Macmillan Cancer Support in the form of a Macmillan Grant or through Clic Sargent (http://www.clicsargent.org.uk) - who provide information and support for children and young people who have recently been diagnosed, or are living with cancer.

Please call the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) if you would like to enquire about a Macmillan Grant and/or would like us to complete a benefit check for a particular set of circumstances i.e if you had to take unpaid leave.

Hope that helps :-)

Phil

Macmillan Welfare Rights Adviser

Macmillan Support Line (0808 808 00 00 - Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm)

katy1
Posted by

Hi

My husband had an open nephrectomy on 6 July and whilst he was in hospital his employer terminated his employment to end on 31 July.  Unfortunately the job involved a house that was part of his salary and we can't afford to stay living here so we are trying to move into cheaper rented accommodation.  He has recovered from his operation well but is waiting for another scan due to the tumour being T3/T4 and it had grown into the main vein.  He has started the process of applying for ESA but we probably wont be able to get help with anything else as we had some years ago purchased a house which we had hoped we would move into when my husband retired and we would not be living in tied accommodation.  The house is still being renovated as there are no bedrooms it is small with no land around it so not worth a huge amount.  The complication and the reason we just can't move into this property is that it is in France and due to my husband needing more treatment we feel we should stay in the UK. We have decided it would be best to sell and it is now advertised for sale on a property website.  We are not sure if we can get any help with housing here in the UK.  My husband has a small pension and we have also wondered if we should draw out this money now instead of waiting another six years.  I guess the question is do we stand any chance of getting help from the government or should we go it alone and see how long we can live on the small amount the pension will provide.  I of course can find some paid employment to help with the situation but again I don't know anything about the benefit system.  I have been his carer for the past few months.  He is getting better but we still don't know what the next scan will reveal.

Many thanks

skierama
Posted by

Hi there, my partner is a semi-retired serviceman aged 57.  He has just been diagnosed with non small cell lung cancer - confined to the lungs.  It is in the advanced stages as it's both lungs and many lesions. He was diagnosed in Europe whilst visiting me at work and has now begun chemotherapy in Europe.  The reason for starting here was that it was all very sudden and they wanted to act quickly.  Is he entitled to any further benefits from the UK?  He already has a private services pension. Maybe travel benefits or benefits for not being able to work part-time? Once we are able to come back to the UK are there benefits to help with the palliative care?  Fingers crossed the chemo is successful in shrinking the lesions.  Any information would be useful.  Many thanks

skierama

patsyc
Posted by

hi, i am new to the group and the web site, I am sure I will be visiting often, i was wondering if my husband will be entitled to any benefits.

He is 65 and just been diagnosed with lung cancer,last week,  apparently it is in the early stages and he will have an operation soon, I have heard about  Form ds1500, as far as we know hes condition is not terminal.

Thanking anyone in advance for any information

Phil N - Macmillan
Posted by

katy1

Hi

My husband had an open nephrectomy on 6 July and whilst he was in hospital his employer terminated his employment to end on 31 July.  Unfortunately the job involved a house that was part of his salary and we can't afford to stay living here so we are trying to move into cheaper rented accommodation.  He has recovered from his operation well but is waiting for another scan due to the tumour being T3/T4 and it had grown into the main vein.  He has started the process of applying for ESA but we probably wont be able to get help with anything else as we had some years ago purchased a house which we had hoped we would move into when my husband retired and we would not be living in tied accommodation.  The house is still being renovated as there are no bedrooms it is small with no land around it so not worth a huge amount.  The complication and the reason we just can't move into this property is that it is in France and due to my husband needing more treatment we feel we should stay in the UK. We have decided it would be best to sell and it is now advertised for sale on a property website.  We are not sure if we can get any help with housing here in the UK.  My husband has a small pension and we have also wondered if we should draw out this money now instead of waiting another six years.  I guess the question is do we stand any chance of getting help from the government or should we go it alone and see how long we can live on the small amount the pension will provide.  I of course can find some paid employment to help with the situation but again I don't know anything about the benefit system.  I have been his carer for the past few months.  He is getting better but we still don't know what the next scan will reveal.

Many thanks

Hi Katy1

Thank you for your patience whilst we have taken time to respond to your question.

If your husband has paid enough National Insurance Contributions during the tax years of 2012/13 and 2013/14 he will be entitled to Contribution Based Employment and Support Allowance (CBESA).

CBESA is not affected by capital/savings or investments. However, it can be reduced by occupational or private pensions if the weekly value of the payment is above £85.

You may be entitled to means tested benefits such as Income Related Employment and Support Allowance, Council Tax Support and Housing Benefit. Awards of these benefits are affected by income and capital. So, the income from your husband’s pension will be taken into account for the calculations of these benefits.

However, the value of your home in France can be ignored for 28 weeks if reasonable steps have been taken to dispose of the property. The 28 week period can be extended in certain circumstances.

I feel that it would be useful for you to give our Macmillan Support Line a call so that we can discuss the situation in more detail and to discuss the merits of your husband making a claim for Personal Independence Payment.

You can call the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm.

Phil N

Macmillan Welfare Rights Adviser – Macmillan Support Line.

Sinead-Macmillan
Posted by

skierama

Hi there, my partner is a semi-retired serviceman aged 57.  He has just been diagnosed with non small cell lung cancer - confined to the lungs.  It is in the advanced stages as it's both lungs and many lesions. He was diagnosed in Europe whilst visiting me at work and has now begun chemotherapy in Europe.  The reason for starting here was that it was all very sudden and they wanted to act quickly.  Is he entitled to any further benefits from the UK?  He already has a private services pension. Maybe travel benefits or benefits for not being able to work part-time? Once we are able to come back to the UK are there benefits to help with the palliative care?  Fingers crossed the chemo is successful in shrinking the lesions.  Any information would be useful.  Many thanks

Hi there, I'm sorry to hear about your partner.  Your case is a little complicated and I would like to know more before giving you any advice. 

Your partner's benefit entitlement may be affected by his nationality, how long he has been abroad, his income/savings, housing situation and his prognosis.  He will not be able to claim anything until he is back in the UK, unless he is serving abroad.

I would advise you to contact the Welfare Rights Team on the Macmillan Support Line for further advice - if this is not possible, I would advise you to get back in touch with us via the online community.

You may also want to look at the Citizen's Advice Bureau's information on benefits and other help for veterans:  https://goo.gl/QGYS6F

I hope you find this information helpful.  We look forward to hearing from you again.

Sinead

Welfare Rights Adviser, Macmillan Support Line

Sinead,

Welfare Rights Team, Macmillan Support Line

Sinead-Macmillan
Posted by

patsyc

hi, i am new to the group and the web site, I am sure I will be visiting often, i was wondering if my husband will be entitled to any benefits.

He is 65 and just been diagnosed with lung cancer,last week,  apparently it is in the early stages and he will have an operation soon, I have heard about  Form ds1500, as far as we know hes condition is not terminal.

Thanking anyone in advance for any information

Hi PatsyC

It sounds as though the DS1500 does not apply in your husband's case.  If he is not entitled to claim benefits under the special rules, he would have to have care needs in order to qualify for a disability benefit.  I would advise you to contact us on the Macmillan Support Line so that we can investigate whether your husband's care needs are sufficient to qualify for a disability benefit, and run a complete benefit check to make sure you are accessing everything you are entitled to while he is recovering from his illness and treatment.

You can reach us on 0808 808 0000 from 9am until 8pm, Monday to Friday.  It would help if you have to hand details of household income and savings, as well as rent/mortgage and Council Tax.

We look forward to your call.

Sinead

Welfare Rights Adviser, Macmillan Support Line.

Sinead,

Welfare Rights Team, Macmillan Support Line

patsyc
Posted by

thank you for your speedy reply. i will call the help line as you have advised