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Benefits and finances

Financial concerns can add to the stress of having a life limiting illness:

  • You may have a job but now you’re too ill to go to work
  • You may be self employed and are struggling to keep the business going
  • You may be retired and being ill makes it harder to make ends meet
  • Your income has reduced and now you may not be able to pay your rent or mortgage or other bills
  • Carers may need to reduce their working hours or even give up work altogether
  • You may have additional costs such as increased heating bills, hospital parking charges, extra fuel costs and prescription charges.




 Planning and seeking advice early can often stop difficulties arising later.  If you are working you should:

  • Talk to your employer about sick notes, sick pay, how long it is paid for, your entitlements as an employee
  • Talk to your work occupational health department if they have one
  • Talk to your trade union welfare adviser if you have one




 Whatever your age or financial situation you may be entitled to certain benefits.  

Not all benefits are means tested and some benefits automatically qualify you for further entitlements.

So even if you have a good salary or pension and have some savings it might still be worthwhile checking what you are entitled to.

You may be entitled to free prescriptions.






Navigating the benefits system can be confusing and complicated but try not to be put off.  It’s worth getting advice.

Sources of advice:

  • Your social worker – ask for a referral from your GP, hospital clinic or district nurse if you do not already have one
  • Citizen’s Advice Bureau
  • Your local County Council Social Care Services department




Patients on some benefits can also claim back the cost of their travel and parking for their clinic appointment.  Please ask your clinic nurse or staff in the hospital general office about where to get this information.

Some hospitals have made provision for patients undergoing certain treatments (usually radiotherapy) so they can access free parking and a parking place nearer to the unit where they will receive treatment.  Where free parking is not offered there is sometimes the option of purchasing a week’s parking at a reduced cost.  Again, please ask your clinic nurse or general office about this.

You may also want to consider contacting your local Social Services Department as you may qualify for a “Blue Badge” which will make parking easier for you when you are out and about.  Their address will be in the phone book or on the internet.




Carers may also be eligible for benefits


You can find helpful information about benefits for both patients and carers from Directgov public services website.  There is a section on Benefits and Financial Support including a Beginners Guide to Benefits.

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