Welfare and Benefits

Ensuring fair access to welfare and benefits for those in need is one of The Brain Tumour Charity's campaigning priorities for 2018.

The findings of our report The Price You Pay; the Financial Impact of a Brain Tumour highlights how a brain tumour diagnosis can have a serious impact on personal finances and the ability to work:

  • 8 in 10 brain tumour patients had to stop work completely or reduce their hours due to a brain tumour diagnosis.
  • Over two thirds of those caring for people with a brain tumour have had to stop work completely or reduce their hours of work.
  • 1 in 3 respondents said that they depended on benefits for most or all of their household income.

Our Benefits Clinic provides information about financial support and benefits that people affected by a brain tumour might be entitled to. Patients and carers who receive specialist advice and support from the clinic are, on average, nearly £5,000 better off as a result.

The Benefits Clinic has highlighted some serious barriers that brain tumour patients face in navigating the benefits system across the UK, both in the assessment and application process.

The Price You Pay; the Financial Impact of a Brain Tumour

People affected by a brain tumour should be well supported in their application for benefits. This includes access to information, easy to fill in forms, transparent assessment processes and an understanding of the complex nature of the condition.

The Brain Tumour Charity conducted a survey to understand more about the financial impact of having a brain tumour and the experience of those affected in navigating the benefits system across the UK. Almost half of respondents reported a bad experience of the benefits system, with 1 in 4 stating that their experience was very bad.

What we are campaigning for

We're campaigning for change so that the politicians and assessors understand how brain tumours can impact those affected on a daily basis, to ensure those affected are able to access the financial support they need.

Based on the findings of the report, our recommendations are:

  • Brain tumours should be added to the list of conditions requiring additional support in the PIP assessment guide. Read more about PIP
  • The Department for Work and Pensions should ensure that PIP and ESA assessments for brain tumour patients are carried out by assessors who have received specific training on this condition, to enable effective assessment.
  • The Department for Work and Pensions should immediately introduce accessible claim forms that are readily available in a variety of formats from all places job seekers are likely to attend.
  • Healthcare professionals should inform those recently diagnosed with a brain tumour and their carers about benefits they may be eligible for, or organisations that provide advice on benefits.
  • Healthcare professionals should advise brain tumour patients on their prescription charge entitlements at diagnosis.

If you have any questions about the report, please contact us by emailing: policy@thebraintumourcharity.org