Financial information

When you’re on treatment there are lots of extra costs to deal with. The good news is that financial help is available.

Under 16?

If you're under 16 benefits such as Disability Living Allowance will be payable to you parent or carer – see the for parents section.

16 or over?

Below are some of the benefits you may be able to claim. For further details about benefits, visit DirectGov

For a review of the benefits you may be entitled to, call us on 0300 330 0803 and ask to speak with a benefits adviser, or email

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

If you need extra care because of your illness, or if you have care or mobility problems, you may be able to claim DLA. It doesn't matter how much you earn, or how much you've saved, anyone who has a disability or serious illness can apply.

To claim, call the Benefit Enquiry Line on 0800 882 200.

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

ESA is a benefit for people who aren't able to work, due to illness or disability. There are two types: contribution-based and income-related.

To qualify for contribution-based ESA you usually have to have made National Insurance payments for a while.

Income-based ESA is a means tested benefit, which means the amount you can claim depends on how much you earn and how much you have in savings.

If you don't qualify for contribution-based ESA, the Department of Work and Pensions will assess you for income-based ESA.

Students applying for ESA

If you have suspended the course you are studying due to your illness, you will not be classed as having any income from any student loan you have not yet claimed. However if you have already received a loan for your course this will be treated as income and will affect entitlement to income-related ESA for the period the loan was meant to cover.

Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)

To claim JSA you need to be actively looking for work. If you're not well enough to work, there's no point in applying for this benefit - you'll need to claim ESA instead.

To claim ESA or JSA call Jobcentre Plus on 0800 085 6688. You can find out more at

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

If you're emplyed when you first become unwell, you're entitled to SSP from the fourth day of your illness, providing your average weekly earnings are over £107. Your employer can pay SSP for up to 28 weeks. After that you'll need to claim ESA. You may also be entitled to contractual sick pay - check your contract to see if this is the case.

Carer's Allowance (CA)

If a friend or relation is looking after you during your cancer treatment, they may be entitled to claim CA.
Working Tax Credit (WTC)

If you're over 16, responsible for a child, and still working over 16 hours a week, but on a low income, you may be able to claim WTC.

Even if you're not responsible for a child, you may still qualify for the 'disability element' of WTC if you have a physical or mental disability that makes it difficult for you to get a job.

You will definitely qualify for the disability element if you are receiving DLA.

Child Tax Credit (CTC)

If you're over 16 and responsible for a child, you can claim CTC. If the child is receiving DLA, you should inform CTC as you will be entitled to the disabilty element.

To claim WTC and CTC, call the Tax Credits helpline on 0845 300 3900 and ask them for an application form.

Help with prescription and other health related

You may be entitled to help with the costs of the following NHS services: prescriptions, dental care, eye sight tests, wigs and glasses and contact lenses. You may also be able to get help with the fares for hopsital appointments too.

The financial help available varies depending on where in the UK you live, so check what you're entitled too.

Social Fund

The Social Fund offers special one-off payments including; community care grants, budgeting loans, crisis loans payments for funeral expenses and Sure Start maternity loans.

To apply for one of these payments and grants you need to be already receiving a qualifying benefit like income-related ESA or or income-based JSA. 

Various rules apply to Social Fund payments so you should check whether you qualify before you make a claim.

To find out more about the Social Fund and whether you might qualify for a special grant or payment, call Jobcentre Plus on 0800 055 6688.

Housing Benefit (HB)

If you are paying rent or services charges you may be entitled to claim HB. The amount you can claim depends on your income and savings.

If you are under 25, single and don’t have any children, you can usually only claim the average cost of renting a single room in your local area.

Council Tax Benefit (CTB)

If you pay Council Tax you may be entitled to claim CTB. However, if you are under 18 years old you shouldn’t be paying Council Tax so you can’t claim CTB. If you’re 18 or over, the amount you can claim depends on your income and savings.

You can claim Housing and Council Tax Benefit from your local council.

Keeping your benefits claims up-to-date

If you’re claiming any benefits, and something changes in your life – for example, you move back in with your parents, get married or lose your job – it’s important to tell the office or department which pays you the benefit.

The change may mean you’re entitled to extra benefits – or it may mean you’re claiming more than you’re entitled to, which could be expensive to pay back later.

March 2012, next planned review 2013.