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CANCER OF UNKNOWN PRIMARY FOUNDATION

State help in the UK

 

Benefits & Entitlements

It is something of a jungle pathway to determine current benefits and entitlements. Different processes and rules may apply in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland; and individual circumstances will affect the amounts available. The details below should help to give you a starting point of what may be available and where to find further details. We claim no expertise in this area. The Citizen’s Advice Bureau www.adviceguide.org.uk is a good source of help.  Macmillan Cancer Support also offer detailed guidance http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Get_Support/Financial_help/Financial_help.aspx. The Government website on benefits information is here. Jane Smith, who has user experience, has written a detailed guide to benefits and grants when you have cancer.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). For those in employment, this is paid for the first 28 weeks of illness by the patient’s employer to those under 65 unable to work for 4 days or more as long as they are earning more than the National Insurance lower earnings limit. Patients can self-certify for the 1st week and thereafter require a Form Med3 from the doctor (GP or hospital doctor).

Incapacity Benefit (IB). Self employed patients may be able to claim IB if under 60 and they have paid sufficient National Insurance contributions. A Form Med3 is required from the doctor (GP or hospital doctor).

For more information see Jobcentre plus: www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk and Department of Work & Pensions www.dwp.gov.uk

Note 1: After 28 weeks SSP and IB claimants must undergo an assessment.    Claimants are sent a form which the doctor needs to sign.

Note 2: Patients not eligible for SSP or IB may be entitled to Income Support (IS)

Note 3. Where a patient has a terminal illness, claims should be made under “special rules” with the doctor completing a form DS1500 to gain rapid processing and the highest rates.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA).  Designed for those under 65 with chronic illness, it is not means tested. It is to cover those whose daily activities are affected for 3 months with an expectation that the situation will continue for at least a further 6 months. Claims may be made without waiting 3 months– collect form from Post Office or local benefit office. www.direct.gov.uk/disability (England, Wales, Scotland) www.dsdni.gov.uk/index/ssa.htm (N. Ireland)

The DS1500 form allows patients access to the DLA for those of working age and Attendance Allowance for pensioners at the highest rate without delay. The DS1500 is filled out by a doctor or specialist nurse to give details of the patient’s condition without specifying a prognosis. The Benefits agencies determine eligibility but are unlikely to refuse any patient with CUP (although they may review it, usually after many years). The patient needs to fill in their application form (with the help of a benefits advisor).

Attendance Allowance (AA) – For those over 65 not permanently in hospital or local authority accommodation whose daily activities are affected for 3 months with an expectation that the situation will continue for at least a further 6 months. Claims may be made without waiting 3 months. Amount is dependent on incapacity. Collect form from Post Office or local benefit office. www.direct.gov.uk/disability (England, Wales, Scotland) www.dsdni.gov.uk/index/ssa.htm (N. Ireland)

Low income patients

Housing benefit – contact your local authority

Council tax benefit – contact your local authority

Social fund payments – Jobcentre plus www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk

HMRC Tax credits – Patients who are working with low income may be entitled. www.hmrc.gov.uk

(The information provided here is based on Support for Cancer Patients by Chantal Simon in InnovAiT 2008 1: 126-133; doi:10.1093/innovait/inn002).

Health care help

Community Care Grants. This is for patients receiving Income Support or Pension Credit to enable them to come home. It can help pay some travel costs, or pay for child care in certain circumstances. Claim using Form SF300 from local benefit office. Forms can be downloaded from www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk (England, Wales, Scotland) www.dsdni.gov.uk/index/ssa.htm (N.Ireland).

Free prescriptions.  Patients are entitled to free prescriptions and NHS wigs if they: have low income; hold a valid medical exemption certificate; live in Wales. Ask your doctor.

Essential travel costs, Blue Badges and Road tax. Essential travel costs for patient and carer to and from hospital may be met if on income support or income-based jobseekers allowance. Form HC5 from hospital.  Blue Badges entitle holders to park in disabled spaces sometimes free of charge or with unlimited time. Road tax exemption may be available for drivers. www.dft.gov.uk

VAT exemption. Relief is available for the chronically sick or disabled, including cancer sufferers, when buying items designed to help with the disability (e.g. adjustable beds, emergency call systems, special vehicles, hoists). Ask the supplier to give you a declaration of exemption to sign.

Home care services. Social Services will provide an assessment if asked, which may help with subsidies. Home modifications may be considered by local authorities if needed. The Red Cross may help with equipment e.g. a wheelchair, and organisations such as Macmillan and Marie Curie can help with advice, nursing and care (see Useful contacts). Carers may be entitled to a Carer’s allowance Claims on DS700 (or DS700SP if receiving state retirement pension).

For information on disability and carers see www.direct.gov.uk and www.direct.gov.uk/carers

(The information provided here is based on Support for Cancer Patients by Chantal Simon in InnovAiT 2008 1: 126-133; doi:10.1093/innovait/inn002).

 

Death registration

In the event that you are a bereaved relative or named friend of someone who has died you will need to contact a funeral director and to register the death. People at the hospital, hospice or GP surgery will be able to give you advice. The procedure in England and Wales is to register the death with the local Registrar within five days (if a Coroner is involved then the Coroner has to give permission first). The Register Office (found in the telephone directory) will require the medical certificate showing cause of death given by the doctor and, if possible: the person’s medical card, and marriage certificate. A ‘green form’ will be issued which you will need to give to the funeral director along with a form BD8 which allows benefits etc. to be claimed. You will need multiple copies of the death certificate from the Registrar (there is a fee) for lawyers (the Will), insurance companies, mobile phone companies etc.