Brain and Spinal Tumours - Benefits and Financial Advice
When you or someone close to you has been diagnosed with a brain or spinal tumour, money may not be the first thing that you think about.
However, having a brain/spinal tumour can be costly in ways that you never expected. Costs may include frequent trips to hospital, parking charges, petrol and childcare, to name a few.
As some patients are unable to work as a consequence of their diagnosis, financial worries can be an extra burden to patients and their relatives.
At the Walton Centre, we understand the difficulties that patients may face.
The aim of this leaflet is to outline some of the benefits that may be available to you and your family, to assist you through what is already a very difficult time.
The information in this leaflet is taken from a variety of reliable sources and at the time of going to print, is correct.
However, many of the benefits available are subject to change and are not under the control of The Walton Centre.
Getting Help from a Benefits Advisor
Benefits advisors can look at individual situations and find the right benefits for you and your family. They can help you obtain claim forms as well as fill them in, which is usually a task in itself. Whether you are
meeting face-to-face or over the telephone, it is useful to have the following to hand:
*Any forms you need help to complete
*Your National Insurance number
*Proof of existing benefits payments
*Details of any savings you may have
*Proof of expenses (mortgage/rent/council tax)
*Proof of earnings
*An idea of your care needs
*A record of your diagnosis
*Contact details of your GP
*Bank or building society details
Macmillan Cancer Support
Macmillan cancer care is a nationwide charity that provides practical, medical and financial support to cancer sufferers and their families. Macmillan offers patients support and advice in regards to financial help.
Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Centre’s are located all over the North West and have Macmillan Nurses that are on hand to offer you guidance and support on-site.
Some are listed below:
The Macmillan Cancer Centre, Clatterbridge Cancer Centre Aintree
Lower Lane, Liverpool L9 7BA 0151 514 6411
The Macmillan Cancer Centre, information and support Tower Block, Aintree Hospital, Lower Lane L9 7AL 0151 529 4742/40
Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Centre Clatterbridge Cancer Centre—Wirral
Bebington CH63 4JY 0151 556 5570
Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Centre— Clatterbridge Cancer Centre Liverpool
Pembroke Place, Liverpool L7 8YA 0151 318 8805
Macmillan Shooting Star Information Centre Wrexham Maelor Hospital
Croesnewydd Rd LL13 7TD 01978 726188
The North West’s Local Macmillan Benefit Advisor is: Debbie Connell at Clatterbridge Cancer Centre,.
You can contact her on 0151 556 5228 or 0151 556 5309
Or Fiona Keeble at Halton Borough Council on 0151 471 7448.
Macmillan Online Guidance
A Financial guidance tool is available on-line which includes help with decisions regarding estate planning, will making, borrowing, mortgages, insurance and pensions. This can be found by visiting
(Type “financial guidance tool” in the website search function).
Macmillan Cancer Support also has on-line copies of information leaflets covering all aspects of financial information which are available for you to view, download or order for free. Please see www.be.macmillan.org.uk.
These are one off payments up to the value of £250. Conditions Apply. Applications for a grant must be completed on line and if approved payments are sent out within 3 working days. Alternatively you can call 0808 808 0000.
The Citizens Advice Bureau
If you require any support and guidance in terms of benefits and
completing forms, your local citizens advice bureau provide a free service to help you do this. To find your local CAB office, visit
or call (England) 08444 111 444 or (Wales) 08444 77 20 20
The Brain Tumour Charity
There is an app on the brain tumour charity website called BRIAN which offers support to brain tumour patients and there is a benefits checker tool within this that can help.
Financial Help for People of working Age
Benefit entitlement is dependent on individual circumstances and you may be able to claim more than one type e.g. Personal Independence Payment (PIP) AND Employment Support Allowance ( ESA)
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
Statutory sick pay is paid by your employer, for up to 28 weeks and standard rate of pay is currently £92.05 per week. You may get more if your company has a “sick pay scheme” or “ occupational scheme” You have to be earning at least £116 a week before tax to qualify.
To claim SSP you need to speak to your employer who is responsible for making these payments
Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
Employment Support Allowance replaced Incapacity Benefit and provides financial support to those who are not able to work because of an illness or disability, and are not entitled to SSP or who are limited in the work
they can do.
There are 2 phases to an Employment Support Allowance claim
- Assessment Phase which can last up to 13 weeks but can last longer. The rates for this are £57.90 a week under 25 and £73-10 a week over 25. At the end of the assessment phase, a decision will be made about whether you are eligible for ESA. If you are you will enter phase 2.
- Main Phase which is split into 2 groups—Work related activity group and Support Group.
Work related activity group pays UP to £73.10 a week and Support Group pays UP to £110.75 a week.
For more information about Employment Support Allowance you can visit www.gov.uk/employment-support-allowance
Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
Personal Independence Payment is a benefit to help with the extra costs of long term health conditions or disability. Personal Independence Payments replaced Disabled Living Allowance (DLA) for claimants aged 16-64. It is payable in two components to people both in and out of work and is between £22-65- £85.60 a week.
PIP is based on an assessment of individual need. It considers how their impairment affects their life, considering their ability to carry out a range of everyday activities. Information will be gathered from the individual as well as healthcare and other professionals who work with and support them.
Most people will be invited to a face to face consultation with a health care professional. At the assessment you are asked questions about how you carry out daily activities and how your tumour affects your daily life. For more information on PIP visit www.gov.uk/PIP
Attendance allowance is offered to those over 65, who are in need of help with personal care or need supervision to keep safe due to their condition. Attendance allowance is tax free and pays between £57.30—£85.60 a week. If you get attendance allowance , some of the other benefits you get may also increase e.g. pension credits, housing benefits or council tax reductions. You can claim for attendance allowance via
If you have been diagnosed with a tumour that is likely to be terminal then there are special rules that apply for claiming these benefits. These rules speed up the process and fast track applications, applicants will also receive higher rates of payments. A DS1500 will be completed by your neuro-oncology nurse specialist and sent on to the DWP . Other health care professionals like a GP or District Nurse can also complete a DS1500 for you.
Caring for Someone with a brain or spinal tumour Carer’s Allowance
Carer’s allowance is available to people looking after someone who receives the daily living component of PIP, higher or middle rate of Disabled Living Allowance or Attendance Allowance.
Current rate is £64.60 a week Eligibility criteria is as follows:
- You must have lived in the UK or NI for at least 2 out of the last 3 years
- You must be at least 16 years old
- You must care for someone for at least 35 hours a week
- You must not bring home more than £116 a week after tax
- You must not be in FT education , nor studying for more than 21 hours a week
If you claim carer’s allowance, other benefits you can get may be affected. Benefits for the person you care for may also be affected. Visit www.gov.uk/carers-allowance for more information.
This helps to fill gaps in your National Insurance if you are caring for someone for more than 20 hours a week, so it protects your ability to qualify for state pension if you have to take time off to care for someone.
Other Financial Support for Patients/Carer’s Income Support
Paid to people on a low or no income, who are not able to work full time. Mainly paid to people caring for a disabled person or very young children
Starting rate is £57.90 a week, but there is certain eligibility criteria. Visit www.gov.uk/income-support for more information
Council Tax Reduction
If you are on low income and claim benefits you may be able to get a reduction in council tax, depending on circumstances. You should contact your local council to find out.
If you receive certain benefits and are on a low income, whether working or not you may be entitled to claim housing benefit to help with the cost of rent. This will depend on your income and circumstances.
Working Tax Credit
This is a payment that may be available if you or your partner are working but earning a low income. To qualify you must be over 25, or between 16- 24 with a child or qualifying disability and depends on how many hours you work. The amount you could receive is calculated based on several factors.
This is for people who are on a low income or out of work, currently being rolled out across the UK it will replace most income based benefits like income based job seekers allowance, housing benefit, working tax credits, child tax credits, income related employment support allowance and income support. The amount you get will depend on circumstances and you may get extra money if your tumour stops you working.
Since April 2009, cancer patients have been eligible for free prescriptions. Apply by collecting an FP92A form from your GP or Primary Care Trust Practitioner.
The blue badge scheme is for drivers or passengers with severe mobility problems and enables badge holders to park close to where they need to go. If you are eligible for the higher rate of Disability Living Allowance, then you will automatically qualify for a Blue Badge.
To find out whether you are eligible and to apply visit www.direct.gov.
Car Parking at Hospitals You May Visit During Your Treatment
For any of the centres you are likely to visit car parking is free except at the Multistorey Car Park servicing The Walton Centre and Aintree Hospital.
Support and Advice for Carers
An organisation that provides information and advice on all aspects of caring, including benefits, tax credits and carers employment rights.
Carers Line: 0808 808 7777. Lines open: Mon-Fri 10am-4pm Website: www.carersuk.org
As of April 1 2012, The Princess Royal Trust for Carers and Crossroads Care have merged to form a new carers charity called “Carers Trust”
The charity combines the knowledge, skills, expertise and experience of its founder charities and all of the independent Network Partners; Crossroads Care schemes and The Princess Royal Trust for Carers local carers
Financial advice can be found on their website.
This charity provides a network of UK services across England and Wales to provide respite for carers. Website: www.carers.org
Marie Curie Cancer Care
A national charity that helps to provide care for terminally ill patients in
their own homes, Marie Curie Cancer care also provides much support to families and carers.
Tel: 0800 716 146 Lines open: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm. Website: www.mariecurie.org.uk
A national charity that helps to provide cancer support and information centres across the UK. The nearest centre is at Clatterbridge Cancer Centre Wirral. They provide support, advice, activities, counselling, benefits advice and more to both patients and their loved ones
Tel 0151 334 4301
- Last Updated:01 October 2021
- Review Date:01 April 2024
- Author:Neuro-oncology Team
Having a brain/spinal tumour can be costly in ways that you never expected. Costs may include frequent trips to hospital, parking charges, petrol and childcare, to name a few.