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Wednesday 19th June 2019

Cancer patients could lose benefits

13th June 2011

Macmillan Cancer Support has said many cancer patients stand to lose out on their benefits because of new government plans.


The charity is fiercely against plans laid out in the Welfare Reform Bill to take away the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) in a year's time.

It said around 7,000 people could face losing their benefits and be out of pocket by £94 a week, even if they were unable to return to their jobs.

However, the government denied that people who were being treated for cancer would be affected.

People who claim ESA are separated into two groups. People who are receiving treatment do not have a time limit for how long they can claim benefits.

People who can carry out "work related activities" have to undergo means testing after a year.

People who have savings of £16,000 or more, or who have a partner who works for more than 24 hours a week, or earns over £149 will not be eligible for EA.

Ciaran Devane, chief executive of the charity, said: "Many cancer patients will lose this crucial benefit simply because they have not recovered quickly enough."

"The majority want to return to work as it can represent a milestone in their recovery and a return to normality, in addition to the obvious financial benefits."

He added: "This proposal in the Welfare Reform Bill will have a devastating impact on many cancer patients."


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