One thing that does not occur straight away is how your bills are going to be paid? You may be fortunate in that you get help from employers, but otherwise you may not know where to turn. I was fortunate that I had help from MacMillan within the hospital where I was treated, but even so found it very emotional filling in the very long form from DWP. Has anybody else got any tips?
I really feel for you filling in that long form from DWP. I hate filling in forms, it just gets all too much for me and I also get emotional and that is not when I am at my lowest, physically and emotionally. Yes, the bills have got to be paid and I would not have known where to turn for help and I would hate having to admit I needed financial assistance. Also getting back and forth to medical appointments, special dietary requirements, extra heating bills, childcare might all cost extra money. If you are employed what are you entitled to statutorily and contract wise for having to attend medical appointments, long term sickness and even what are a partner/carers rights. etc. oh, it’s all too much to worry about at such a time. As for tips, well, I suppose not being afraid to ask for help is a big one for me, the Citizens Advice is a good starting point for all round financial advice, your union, if you are a member, remember any insurance policies you might have, any family and friends that might be able to help or just be there to support you. These are so important issues you have raised, thank you.
When I was diagnosed and got ill I was working for myself and self employed so didn’t get sickness pay, holiday pay etc. I worked through the all mighty pain I was having with my broken ribs the best I could to keep paying the bills and providing for my family as my wife didn’t work as she was looking after the children as they were very young at the time and not in school.
Once I ended up on crutches the time came I had to give up work, my hospital didn’t help with any benefit advisor or any specialist nurse etc so had to do all the research myself to see what I was entitled to. I had the dreaded forms and filled them in with all the information and doctors letters etc explains how bad my cancer / mobility / daily living was and a few weeks later they made a Desion I was entitled to £20 per week to provided for my family haha. As you can imagine I contacted them and appealed and had the correct amount awarded that we deserved as a family.
My advice is: if your not happy with the descion make sure you appeal.
They sometimes reject your claim the 1st time so do a mandatory consideration.
Go on to the gov website for all the information / money regarding help out there for people with a illness.
Happy Friday guys hope you have a brilliant weekend
Sorry to hear that you had such huge problems Dan. I felt that this was something that needed to be aired, and any advice that people had would be welcome to those just starting their journey with the DWP and before they find themselves in dire straights. Good advice there
@Dan, thanks so much for raising all the problems and fears you had being self employed. My father was self employed and I can remember the pressure and fear hanging around my parents in case my father should be sick, he never even came on family holidays. Yes, the dreaded forms have to be filled in and the collecting of supporting documents when you least feel able physically or emotionally and then the stress of appealing. I expect you felt under so much stress and pressure to provide for your family. You did brilliantly and yes, Happy Friday and take care,
Whenmy Husband Roger got diagnosed we had a lovely man come into the hospital from cab to talk about benefits etc and what we would be entitled to, we was fortunate Rogers works continued to pay him his full wage right up until the end, and our Mcmillian Nurse filled his pip forms out for us. I don’t work due to ill health, and was scary when he first got ill as like you say you can’t work, but your bills still need paying. When he was home my heating was on 24/7 and we got to apply for the Mcmillisn grant that helped with the gas bill. Don’t be afraid to ask for help x
Gosh the CAB and Mcmillan are so, so useful, when I am exhausted, worried and stressed finding out about help and filling in forms are just the final straw for me. I also hate asking for help. Take care.
It is also important to keep a note of dates and times of phone calls, and copies (on computer) of all correpondence. After a very frustrating time when Child tax Credits were claiming that I had not kept them informed of changes in my circumstances, and were claiming back thousands of pounds, I eventually printed off every letter I had sent them, together with an extensive list of phone calls made. After that I didn’t hear a thing. I had also cancelled a couple of interviews at the Job Centre (Yes, I still was expected to attend so they could check what work I was capable of despite waiting for my SCT) and sick of getting letters telling me that I could lose my benefits my husband took me on a bitterly cold January day. We walked into the centre, and my husband was asked what time his interview was. I replied that it was MY interview, Everyone was so shocked, and although the poor woman had to go through the motions, they couldn’t have been kinder. Unfortunately my husband was not allowed to fill in forms on my behalf, or make the calls. Sometimes we just have to play them at their own game
Thanks so much Louise, your post really showed that you do have to keep that diary of events, costs incurred and all documentation and be prepared to fight when you are at your weakest. I do not know how you do it, I fear it would feel all too much for me and I would just burst into tears and collapse in a heap. You are so brilliant (and so is your husband) and thanks again.
Believe me, there have been tears aplenty, and times when I feel overwhelmed, especially at the moment, as post treatment problems are getting worse. We just have to pick ourselves up and manage as best we can. You are so strong Erica, and do so much for the Bloodwise community. Never lose sight of that
Are there not many places that will help out with assistance if you currently have to go through treatment? Is it quite limited?
Hi Joshua. As @Erica said in an earlier post, CAB and MacMillan are probably best ports of call but DWP are not the easiest of departments to deal with, and you really have to fight your corner. Perhaps something needs to be done as regarding providing advocates as, when you and family are dealing with a cancer diagnosis, it just feels like another hurdle. My husband was not allowed to fill in forms about my sick pay. Thankfully my employers were excellent and went above and beyond
Oh, Louise, it really is dealing with official departments that ‘appear’ to be looking for ways to turn down a claim as opposed to helping you make the optimum claim you can. Advocates are a really great idea and as you say allowing a family member to fill in the claim for you if you can prove a good reason. I know I broke my right arm as we moved here and there were a lot of official forms and change of addresses with banks and building societies to be filled in and signed ‘with my usual signature’ and you guessed it, I am right handed. The officials all appeared very unsympathetic and not caring at all and just said well you have got to be sign it, so I did a squiggle with my left hand and no organisation ever queried the signature being different to my usual one. The CAB and MacMillan are really helpful.
I am so sorry to hear, that must have been a nightmare for you. Did they not believe you when you signed for documents? Did you explain to them what happened to your arm? They should be able to see that your arm is in a cast.
Yes, I had a fluorescent blue cast and I could not even hold a pen because of the way the cast was. There was only one lovely trainee young man in a building society who was empathic, I would go back to that building society and I got my husband to fill in a feedback form to commend him.
The blue cast must have been a dead giveaway to them then and its nice there was one person that showed you some empathy.
I don’t know about @Pisces56 but I can answer that one immediately, when I had money problems I did not tell anyone, oh, the shame of not being able to pay my way. However I do not think holding things inside has helped me healthwise. I just put a smile on the face with my fears, thoughts and emotions stuffed down inside. I wonder what others do?
Fortunately we were in a better position than most, mortgage paid off and savings to fall back on. My employers went above and beyond, as far as calculating what they would give me for sick pay. MacMillan were great helping me apply for disability benefit. When it was apparent that I would be unable to return to work I applied for early retirement pensions due to ill health. One I had to appeal, but my consultant wrote a supporting letter. My parents were always asking if I needed financial help, but luckily we managed.
I was also fortunate that the medical exemption certificate for cancer patients started in 2008, as it was recognised that even after treatment patients often needed medication for after effects
It all sounds so stressful and I am so glad you pulled through.
Having the mortgage paid off and some savings to fall on must have relaxed you a little and also a supporting employer.
The joys of self employment,no sick pay or holiday pay.when I got diagnosed with stage 3 Hodgkin’s lymphoma and had opted for the enhanced chemotherapy rather than the standard treatment I was advised to give up work for the duration of my treatment as my working conditions were so poor.
I worked as a London Cab Driver and therefore had no immediate access to a toilet for example.
I had to sell my taxi to have enough money to see my through treatment,luckily I owned the vehicle and owed no money on it
Fast forward 19 months,I’m clear of cancer and have been back at work for 14 months,however I’m now renting a cab for quite a large sum per week as I don’t feel confident enough to commit to borrowing money over 5 years to buy a cab when I’m still seeing my oncologist every 4-6 months