See what's happening in the Community

You are not logged in.   Log In

Meet the team

As well as sharing experiences with our friendly online community, registered members are able to contact our experienced online team. The Centre is staffed during office hours and the online team aim to reply within 24 hours.

Psychologists and experts from other Maggie's Centres and partner organisations also facilitate some group and individual sessions.

Picture of Topic  'Today I am feeling' - managing emotions


Topic 'Today I am feeling' - managing emotions

Share how you are feeling and swap tips for managing stress with other members and the online team

  • 186 conversations


Started by Anonymous on 23 May 2013 at 16:04
Edited on 23 May 2013 at 16:05

Hi i was wondering if anyone has advice for me regards my salary, i have just been notified today i have been receiving half pay and i have a sick note for another 3 weeks, i dont know what to do, i have been off work since the 8th feb 2013 with breast cancer.

Comments (2)

latest | oldest

Displaying 2 comments

  • Picture of Tombenefits
    From Tombenefits  
    20 August 2013 at 11:08

    Hi Duffy,

    Your post was before I started as the Online Centre Benefits Advisor but I noticed it in passing. Hopefully you got some useful advice around other benefits that you might be able to claim to help ease the shock of a drop to half pay.

    I'm more than happy to advise privately via messages but just thought I'd make some general points here.

    The legal minimum that employers have to pay people who are off sick is Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), but many pay more such as full pay for a certain amount of time then half pay. If yours have been you will still notice SSP as an entry on your pay slips though.

    The timing of that works sick pay and any change can be totally different from that for Statutory Sick Pay, although often employers tie the two together. Your SSP can last for up to 28 weeks, but this will be affected by any other periods of sickness you may have had in the previous year or so. So it could be that though it was nearer 3 months than sick, your SSP could have run out. Or it could be that it was still due to carry on in May, but just your works scheme payment was dropping, but SSP carrying on.

    When the SSP part of any sick pay runs out is the day you can get Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) from the Department of Work and Pensions, regardless of what your employer carries on paying under the works scheme. So sometimes this can be really handy if it kicks in around the same time as a drop from full pay to half pay as Contributory ESA can be paid regardless as it is not affected by most other types of income. 

    The other sort of ESA is Income-related ESA and that will be affected by most other income - both your and any partners.

    If you were getting Working Tax Credit this would carry on for 28 weeks from when you went sick as you would still count as a worker, but would then finish. Any Child Tax Credit will carry on regardless. If you hadn't claimed before perhaps because your income was too high - then it might be worth claiming now as sums are done over the whole tax year and your income may be a lot lower this tax year than last. It is worth putting a claim in even if you might not get anything at the moment as the claim will be looked at again at the end of the tax year.

    There' also other income related help available to help with rent, council tax and health costs which may apply as your income drops.

    Finally there is extra help available for the additional costs of living with a long term illness or disability. This is not to do with whether you are in work or not, is totally non-means tested (so not affected by savings or other income) and doesn't need the right Nationl Insurance contributions history.

    This has been renamed Personal Independence Payment (PIP) from 10th June, and was previously known as Disablity Living Allowance. It covers the same needs - personal care/daily living and mobility, but the assessment criteria are very different. You can find out more in my four part blog on PIP starting here

    One big difficulty  main difficulties with PIP for people affected by cancer is explaining difficulties which often don't fit into neat "Yes I can/No I can't" boxes, as the nature of difficulties can be variable and more about around tiredness, low mood, weakness. You might manage something eventually but need to take your time, feel breathless, experience some pain or difficulty doing it or need some friendly encouragement. All that help can count but people often miss it out.

    The other main problem is whether your difficulties related to cancer, treatments and through recovery will last for long enough for payment. Even if they do there is a bit of a judgement call given the fact that your difficulties during or shortly after chemo will usually be a lot more than when you are well into recovery. On both counts it's worth talking over a claim with an Adviser

    Anyway I hope this rather late post is still of some use whether to you or anyone else reading this who is facing a similar and common situation.

    It is a bit complicated and abit messy but the main point is that there is some extra help available that's well worth exploring.

    Feel free then Duffy - or any other gentle reader - to have a look at the Benefits Advice group blogs and posts or to message me for more specific and private advice.

    All the best



  • Picture of SusieQ
    From SusieQ  
    24 May 2013 at 10:00


    It is such a worrying time when you've suddenly got a dip in income, and worry that you may soon have no money at all. This won't happen, but you will need to visit your local citizen's advice bureau, local Maggie's Centre, or perhaps contact the nearest Macmillan Benefits Adviser . They will assess your particular situation, and explain what you need to do next.

    I'm not a benefits expert, but it sounds as though your work contract pays full salary for three months, then possibly half salary for three months. It might be worth calling your work just to check if this is the case. If it's a big enough company to have an HR Department, they may also be able to advise you what to do next.

    I'm aware that after 28 weeks, you are likely to be able to apply for Employment and support allowance (ESA), I attach a link to the Citizen's Advice Bureau webpage 'off work because of sickness'. We have some finacial information on our Maggie's CancerLinks page 'Financial help' which may be useful.

    I hope some of these links help, and that your breast cancer treatment is going ok...

    if Robyn or myself can be of any more help, please don't hesitate to get in touch,

    Best wishes



Displaying 2 comments

Registered Office: Maggie's, The Stables, Western General Hospital, Crewe Road, Edinburgh EH4 2XU   Registered Charity Number: SC024414
The Maggie Keswick Jencks Cancer Caring Centres Trust is a company limited by guarantee   Company Number: SC162451