Practical issues

Share experiences and advice on practical issues when living with cancer, such as money, work, benefits, transport, food and drink, organising support at home, or getting specialist equipment.

ESA benefit

Posted by

My husband was diagnosed a few weeks ago with incurable cancer. Macmillan have been great advising on financial support as we are both self employed and have 3 young children. I was advised to claim ESA for myself as I was too distressed to work, I claimed this after 3 weeks of not working and got a 4 week sick line from my gp on 18th May for  “acute stress” got a call today to say I have to go for an assessment. I’m so anxious and angry at the thought of somebody judging how upset I am, if I cry enough or if I manage to hold it together am I not upset enough? I worked in a well paid government job for over 20 years, paying thousands in national insurance contributions over that time before setting up my business and feel insulted at how I’m being treated now.

Posted by

Hi 0802bernies welcome to the forum and so sorry that this is happening for you and your hubby you don't need any extra pressure at this time.

Could Macmillan advise you about this as well?

I agree with you that it must feel very insulting and maybe MacMillan could advise on any options if any, available to you re this.

Good luck with it all and please let us know how you get on as we will be thinking of you.

Sending some huge big hugs for now. xxxxx

Posted by

Hello I too am having problems with claiming esa for my husband ,he had major surgery 2 weeks ago having a full laryngectomy , starting the claim for esa as been a joke right from the start after failing to receive forms via email to then receiving them through the post only to ring the benefit people up constantly to be put on hold for 30 minutes at a time to be then told we have no record of your husbands claim , yes I know that because I'm trying to arrange an assessment }!!!!!!! I just keep being pushed from one department to the next and it's bad enough dealing with cancer let alone trying to claim some sort of help it's very very frustrating. I don't know what to do anymore


Posted by

I find that disgusting,  of course you are too upset to work and how are you meant to show how upset and stressed you are.

The whole system is a joke the wrong people are often the ones who get benefits and those who have paid into the system do not get the financial support in their time of need.

Do not worry go to the assessment and just unload the distress and emotions onto the assessment panel. If your anything like I was when my husband was diagnosed it won't be hard. Good luck with everything 

Nanny 2000

Posted by


Assessment over and it was ok, though still found it unbelievable I had to go through that. I can’t understand that if a GP has seen me and clearly stated I am unfit to work that another person has to verify this. Just seems like duplication and time wasting. Perhaps if I’d been off long term but this was after 2 weeks.I had to do a 45 mile round trip for this assessment.

I now have to meet with an adviser on how I might get back to work! I fully intend to get back to work, I’m self employed but at this point in time I can just about get though each day and make sure my children are ok.