Benefits if you have a disability or your cancer is advanced

There is financial support available if you have a disability or your cancer is advanced.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) can help you with extra costs. You need to have a disability or long term physical or mental health condition to get it.

You can get PIP if you:

  • are between 16 and the State Pension age
  • are working or not working, or have savings
  • have a health condition or disability that has meant you have had difficulties with daily living or moving around
  • expect the difficulties to last for at least 12 months from when they started

You also need to:

  • have lived in England, Scotland or Wales for at least 2 of the last 3 years
  • live in one of these countries when you apply

If you've recently come back from living in an EEA country, you might get PIP sooner. If you’ve reached State Pension Age you can apply for Attendance Allowance instead.

You can't get PIP and Armed Forces Independence Payment together.

In Northern Ireland the criteria to qualify for PIP is slightly different.

The process of getting PIP is much quicker if you’re terminally ill. You qualify for PIP if:

  • your doctor or a medical professional thinks that you might have less than 6 months to live
  • you're older than 16 and have not reached State Pension age (66 years)

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for adults

Disability living allowance (DLA) is a payment for people who have mobility problems or need personal care.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) has been replacing DLA for disabled people. For people born on or before 8 April 1948, DLA will continue for as long as they qualify for it. For people born after 8 April 1948, DLA will end. You will be told when it will stop. You will continue to get it until that date.

You can now only apply for DLA for children if they are under 16. You can no longer make a new application for DLA if you are 16 or over.

You can apply instead for:

  • PIP if you're 16 or older and below State Pension age
  • Attendance Allowance if you're State Pension age or older and you're not getting DLA

Attendance Allowance (AA)

Attendance Allowance is a payment that helps with extra costs when you have a disability that needs someone to help look after you.

You need to:

  • have a physical or mental disability, or both
  • have a disability severe enough for you to need someone to help look after you or supervise you
  • be in need of help for at least 6 months (unless you’re terminally ill)
  • be of State Pension Age or older

You don’t need a carer in order to qualify. If you do have a carer, they can apply for Carers Allowance depending on how much care you need.

Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB)

Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) is a payment that can help you with costs if your job caused you to have a disease or accident. An example of a cancer that can be caused by certain jobs is mesothelioma, which can be caused by asbestos.


To get Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB), you need to have been involved in an accident or event while you:

  • were employed
  • were taking part in an approved work training scheme or course
  • were in England, Scotland or Wales

There might be some exceptions. Contact your regional Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit Centre for more information.

In Northern Ireland, the process is slightly different.


To get Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB), your disease must have been caused by:

  • the job you were employed in
  • an approved employment training scheme or course you were doing

Where to get advice

You can get help and advice on benefits from the following people:

  • a hospital or community social worker - they can give you advice on benefits and help you deal with debts
  • a welfare rights adviser at a hospital
  • Citizens Advice - their advisers can help with filling out benefit forms
  • The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) provide their service through Jobcentre Plus offices. They deal with benefits for people who are unemployed, or who can’t work because of a health condition or a disability

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, the Department of Communities (DfC) deals with benefits and pensions. For Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) and Income Support in Northern Ireland, you need to contact your Jobs and Benefits office.

Macmillan Cancer Support

Macmillan Cancer Support provides support and guidance on how to deal with the financial impact of cancer.

You can contact their team of trained Welfare Rights Advisors (Monday-Friday 8am-8pm) or Financial Guides (Monday-Friday 8am-6pm) on 0808 808 0000.

Related links