Having lung cancer is likely to have an effect on your finances. If you were working when you were diagnosed with lung cancer, you may or may not be able to continue to work. You may have to reduce your hours or even stop working altogether.
This financial pressure can only add to your anxiety and stress levels. However, there is help out there.
Speak to your bank or building society
Some banks and financial organisations are gearing up their services to support people with cancer. They may be able to make allowances around loan and mortgage payments so it is a good idea to speak to your bank to see what they can do to help.
The benefits system can be confusing, especially if you have never needed to claim benefits before. You may initially feel reluctant to claim. However, there is a range of financial benefits available to people who have lung cancer. These include:
You can get Attendance Allowance if you are:
- 65 years old or over
- Have a physical disability (lung cancer qualifies you here)
- Your disability is severe enough for you to need help caring for yourself
Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
ESA provides financial help to people who are unable to work because of illness or disability. It also provides personalised support to those who are able to work.
There are two types of entitlement: contributions based and income based. You may be entitled to either or both depending on your national insurance contributions and your income/savings.
Please note, Universal Credit will replace this.
Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
This benefit replaced disability living allowance. It helps with some of the extra costs caused by long-term ill health or disability. It is based not on your condition, but on how your condition affects you. You’ll need an assessment to work out the level of financial help you get and this will be regularly reviewed to ensure you are getting the right support.
This financial benefit helps with the costs of living with lung cancer. Eligibility depends on your circumstances and, currently, where you live. It will gradually replace some other benefits.
This is the main financial benefit for carers. You must be looking after someone for at least 35 hours a week and earn £110 (or less) a week (after deductions) to be eligible. The person being cared for must also be receiving either Attendance Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.
You can backdate your claim by up to three months.
If you are still working, there may be additional financial help available. Go to Working with lung cancer for more information.
We are not able to tell you if will qualify for financial help and not everyone will be eligible, so it is essential that you get expert up-to-date advice.
You can find out more about welfare benefits on the Government website and at the Citizens Advice Bureau. Application forms are available by phoning the Disability Benefits Helpline on 08457 123 456 or at your nearest Citizen’s Advice Bureau.
Find out what financial help is available as soon as you are diagnosed. We suffered in silence and used up all our savings before getting help.Phil, living with lung cancer
Work-related lung cancer
If your lung cancer has been caused by your working environment, you may be entitled to Industrial Disablement Benefit. You may also be able to claim civil compensation.
Some types of lung cancer can be caused by coming into contact with asbestos, radon or silica dust. A number of chemical agents including fumes from arsenic, benzene, nickel or tin (or their compounds), or fumes from chromate chemicals can also carry an increased a person’s risk of lung cancer.
People at risk include those who have worked as:
- Agriculture, forestry and fishing
- Construction and painting
- Manufacturing and mining industries
- Service industries.
Ask your lung cancer healthcare team if you are eligible or, for more information, contact the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit Centre on 0345 (or 0845) 758 5433.
To claim financial compensation, you should seek expert advice from lawyers who specialize in dealing with claims for occupational lung disease. Good lawyers should offer to see you first at no cost to you.
Further financial help
As well as getting these benefits, you may also be able to get help with paying your rent and/or council tax if:
- You are working and have low earnings, or
- You are not working and have a low income, pension and/or benefits.
Contact your local council for information on how to claim.
You may also be entitled to get help with the cost of prescriptions, dental treatment, glasses and the cost of travelling to and from hospital.
Ask your lung cancer nurse specialists or benefits advisor about the Blue Badge Parking Scheme or Mobility Scheme.