Rights & Benefits for those with a Life Limiting Disease

The diagnosis of a life limiting illness is likely to have a financial impact. If working you may have to give up work or you may want to plan for the stage when you are no longer able to work.

  • If employed then you should inform your employer of the situation. You may be entitled to retire due to ill health or to receive an enhanced payment based on your diagnosis. There may be some medical provision through work that allows you to get private medical or palliative care.
  • Discuss your preferences - to continue working or possibly work from home. Keeping your employer informed of your illness and plans allows them to help you in whatever way they can. If you are caring for someone with a terminal illness your employer may be able to offer you special or compassionate leave. You should not fear losing your job if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness as this would be classed as unfair dismissal. You do need to check your contract of employment or HR policy, which will detail how long you are entitled to full pay or half pay.
  • Check insurance policies. You may have taken out insurance policies that pay out on diagnosis of a terminal illness or death. This may include a policy which pays off your mortgage. You should inform any insurers as soon as your diagnosis is made and you will have to provide supporting evidence such as a doctor’s letter.

As soon as you are diagnosed you should get in touch with your local benefits office. There are a range of benefits available to you whether you are working or not. The most common benefits available are:

  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Attendance Allowance (AA)
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Severe Disablement Allowance (SDA)
  • Invalid Care Allowance (ICA)
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Statutory Sick Pay
  • Travel to and from hospital

If you need more comprehensive advice on the benefits available go to:
DirectGov
Office for Disability
Disability and Carers Service