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Benefits Q&A (Closed): Thursday 25 June 2015, 12-1pm

Priscilla - admin
Posted by

Ask the experts your benefits questions right here in the forums. Benefits advisers Ceri and Kathy will be here to answer your questions on Thursday 25 June from 12-1pm.

Money worries are the last thing you need when you or a loved one has cancer. Ceri and Kathy work on the Macmillan Support Line and will be here to answer questions about claiming benefits for people with cancer and their carers.

If you won't be here for the chat, you can post your question any time before the chat, and our benefits advisers will answer it when they get here. To make sure you see your answer, tick 'email me replies' when you write your post.

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. 

If you don't want to register for the community, you can email us oncommunity@macmillan.org.uk and we'll ask the question for you - just mark your email 'webchat'.

Outside of webchat times, 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.

shaz65
Posted by

Hi,  I have been receiving full pay for the past six months and will receive half pay now for six months. Is there any help out there to increase my pay.  I'm hoping to return to work at the end of October part time at first, will I be able to get any help then, tax return etc. I work as a LSA in a special needs school. I have my 6th chemotherapy next week, then 20 sessions of radiotherapy.

Thank you for your help

Sharon

DBarnes
Posted by

Hi I am currently getting ESA and have had to renew my working tax credit I did tell them I was getting ESA but they said it didn't count as its not taxable is this right as very worried I might end up with a large over payment thank you 

Brenda1
Posted by

Hi, I was on ESA last yer after surgery, chemo then more surgery, been back at work since christmas but now have to have more chemo. If I have to have time off work is there only ESA to claim or could I claim PIP or attendance allowance? Last year I struggled as I have no partner and only got £72.00 a week for the 1st 6 months.

Thanks in advance

Brenda H

JRJ
Posted by

Hi, i have been asked to become a full time carer for someone very close to me who has terminal cancer, he was only given 12 months when diagnosed but we are now 7 months after those 12 promised . I definitely want to do this for him and would gladly give up my job to devote my time to him. Im just not sure what to do financially. I currently have a part time job as i am a single mom to 2 children, however i am myself off work sick with stress at the moment as i have been fulfilling the carers role anyway aswell as trying to work....... to my own detriment. I am currently receiving ESA due to these circumstances. Will i be penalised if i give my job up to look after my friend for the rest of his days ? And what could i be eligible for ? Would it be ESA plus carers allowance ? Any child tax credit etc. I need to make sure my children dont suffer either. I do not understand the benefit ststem at all. I want so badly to be there for him but is it possible financially ? I am the only adult at home to pay my rent and bills and i have no idea where to start, especially as i have only just started claiming ESA.

 

any help gratefully received thankyou & please reply via email xx

 
Kathy - Macmillan
Posted by

shaz65

Hi,  I have been receiving full pay for the past six months and will receive half pay now for six months. Is there any help out there to increase my pay.  I'm hoping to return to work at the end of October part time at first, will I be able to get any help then, tax return etc. I work as a LSA in a special needs school. I have my 6th chemotherapy next week, then 20 sessions of radiotherapy.

Thank you for your help

Sharon

Hi Sharon, many thanks for getting in touch.

Any financial assistance could depend on your household income, and possibly whether you’ve paid National Insurance contributions in the past, as well as other circumstances.

If you would like us to complete a full benefits check for you, we’d be happy to do this. We would need details of your current household income (including any benefits you already have in payment), any savings or capital you may have, and also your outgoings (such as rent/mortgage payments, council tax and gas and electricity). You can reach us on 0808 808 0000 and we’re open Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm.

Kathy

Ceri H - Macmillan
Posted by

JRJ

Hi, i have been asked to become a full time carer for someone very close to me who has terminal cancer, he was only given 12 months when diagnosed but we are now 7 months after those 12 promised . I definitely want to do this for him and would gladly give up my job to devote my time to him. Im just not sure what to do financially. I currently have a part time job as i am a single mom to 2 children, however i am myself off work sick with stress at the moment as i have been fulfilling the carers role anyway aswell as trying to work....... to my own detriment. I am currently receiving ESA due to these circumstances. Will i be penalised if i give my job up to look after my friend for the rest of his days ? And what could i be eligible for ? Would it be ESA plus carers allowance ? Any child tax credit etc. I need to make sure my children dont suffer either. I do not understand the benefit ststem at all. I want so badly to be there for him but is it possible financially ? I am the only adult at home to pay my rent and bills and i have no idea where to start, especially as i have only just started claiming ESA.

 

any help gratefully received thankyou & please reply via email xx

 

Hi JRJ - We can advise you about different benefit/tax-credit options to fit your circumstances; BUT not by e-mail through this forum unfortunately - If the person you are looking after is under 65 and has Personal Independence Payment for daily living needs (or the Disability Living Allowance equivalent) or is over 65 and has Attendance Allowance; you might be entitled to Carers Allowance as well as or instead of Employment & Support Allowance - We need to advise you confidentially - Please could you contact us by phone (0808 808 0000) or via our
web-site:- http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Aboutus/ContactUs/AskMacmillanForm.aspx

Ceri H - Macmillan
Posted by

DBarnes

Hi I am currently getting ESA and have had to renew my working tax credit I did tell them I was getting ESA but they said it didn't count as its not taxable is this right as very worried I might end up with a large over payment thank you 

Hi D Barnes – Are you on sick leave from self-employment or are you an employee? Are you claiming Tax Credits as a couple or as a single applicant? Employees can usually only access ESA after their 28 week Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) period has ended and it is the same 28 week period in which Working Tax Credit can treat you as still being in ‘remunerative work’ for working tax credit purposes. The exceptions to this would be if you are self-employed (& still within the first 28 weeks of sick leave) or part of a ‘couple’ for your Working Tax Credit claim and your partner is still working enough hours to meet the ‘remunerative work’ condition for you both?

Income related ESA is not counted as taxable income but contribution based ESA is – We can advise you in more detail if you can contact us by phone (0808 808 0000) or via our web-site:- http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Aboutus/ContactUs/AskMacmillanForm.aspx

Also check out:- https://www.gov.uk/working-tax-credit/eligibility

https://www.gov.uk/working-tax-credit/further-information

https://www.gov.uk/employment-support-allowance/eligibility

 

Kathy - Macmillan
Posted by

Brenda1

Hi, I was on ESA last yer after surgery, chemo then more surgery, been back at work since christmas but now have to have more chemo. If I have to have time off work is there only ESA to claim or could I claim PIP or attendance allowance? Last year I struggled as I have no partner and only got £72.00 a week for the 1st 6 months.

Thanks in advance

Hi Brenda1 – As you have been back at work more than 8 weeks, if you go on sick leave from work again your employer should consider paying you Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for up to 28 weeks (after the first 3 ‘waiting’ days of sick leave). SSP is currently £88.45 per week - which is more than the basic starting amount of ESA at £73.10 per week. If your employer cannot pay you SSP, they should give you written notice of this on an SSP1 form. They should also give you back any outstanding sick notes. Then you can look at claiming ESA; you can start a claim by calling 0800 055 6688.

Regardless of whether you are working or on sick leave, Personal Independence Payment (PIP) if under 65 or Attendance Allowance (AA) if 65 or over may also be an option. We can discuss all these benefits in more detail, send you our PIP/AA fact-sheet, help you to complete application forms and check for any other possible benefits or sources of financial help too; if you can ring us on 0808 808 0000 or contact us via our web-site:- http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Aboutus/ContactUs/AskMacmillanForm.aspx

Also check out:- https://www.gov.uk/statutory-sick-pay

https://www.gov.uk/employment-support-allowance/what-youll-get

https://www.gov.uk/pip

https://www.gov.uk/attendance-allowance

Priscilla - admin
Posted by

Any more questions about claiming benefits? Our two benefits advisers are here until 1pm, so there's still time to post your question - just hit reply on this discussion, write your question and then keep an eye on this discussion for your response.

Ceri H - Macmillan
Posted by

Time is nearly up on the 'live' hour of this month's forum/discussion - If anyone has any more questions please post them by clicking the 'reply' button on any of the existing posts...

Priscilla - admin
Posted by

Ok, it's after 1pm and of the questions have been answered, so that brings us to the end of today's Q&A.

Thanks to everyone who posted a question - I really hope it's been helpful. And, of course, big thanks to  and  for all their answers!

Our benefits advisers now have to go back to their work on the Macmillan Support Line, so we won't be able to take any more questions here today.

I'll be locking this discussion, which means that you won't be able to post any new replies after this. 

However, if you still have questions, you can still talk to a benefits adviser by giving us a call on the Macmillan Support Line (0808 808 0000, Mon-Fri, 9am-8pm, free from landlines and most mobile networks) or by sending them an email.

If you have any feedback about today's Q&A, we'd love to hear it - please get in touch on community@macmillan.org.uk.