You need to know about what benefits you are entitled to claim as soon as you have a diagnosis of a serious illness because there is no legal right for these benefits to be backdated and being ill is expensive. They can only be backdated at the discretion of the Benefits Office.
Many local carer services will also provide benefits and financial advice - see carer services
For those under 65 years of age
- Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is usually paid up to 28 weeks of sickness for people who are working when they get ill. Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is usually paid after Statutory Sick pay has stopped.
- You can apply for Universal Credit to get help with your living costs if you’re on a low income or out of work.
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit for people of working age (16-65) with disabilities, or those that are terminally ill, who need help with daily living activities or help getting around, or both. You can claim it whether you're working or not. PIP isn’t means tested.
For those over 65 years of age
Attendance Allowance is paid to people over 65, to help with the cost of their care or supervision needs. It isn't means tested and is tax-free.
For care givers
- If you care for someone for at least 35 hours a week, check if you can get Carer’s Allowance. If you care for someone at least 20 hours a week and you’re under State Pension age, check if you can get Carer’s Credit.
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children is tax free and isn’t means tested. It is for people looking after children under 16 to help with the extra costs of looking after a child who needs supervision or help with their daily or nightly care needs or has mobility problems.
Special Rules for End of Life (SREL)
These forms support your application and speed up the processing
Ask your health professionals (your GP, consultant or palliative/hospice nurse) to complete these forms on your behalf. They can get up to date details about how support your claim
A DS1500 medical report is needed if a person is terminally ill and not expected to live longer than 6 months. This will enable 5 benefits to be processed more quickly. (Attendance Allowance, PIP, DLA, Universal Credit & Employment Support Allowance)
An SR1 medical report form can be used if prognosis is thought to be 12 months or less and can give quicker access to Universal Credit (UC) and Employment Support Allowance (ESA) if you are under State Pension Age
Helpful National resources:
Marie Curie Support Line 0800 090 2309