Terminal Cancer & ESA

Nicolespost Community member Posts: 2 Listener
I can't believe that my sister has been refused ESA, her Cancer is terminal, she has worked all her life, but ESA told her NI for the last year did not cover her for ESA, even though she started her Cancer battle with cervical cancer the year before & she now has Lung cancer. She has been awarded pip & she has to try and live off this. Just wondered if this is correct.


  • Debbie_Alumni
    Debbie_Alumni Community member Posts: 932 Empowering
    Hi @Nicolespost,

    It sounds as though your sister has been turned down for contributory ESA which is based on national insurance contributions. Entitledto.com has some good information about Contributory ESA. Check to see if your sister would meet any of the relaxation of the first contribution condition criteria.
    • First contribution condition - in one of the last two complete tax years, you must have paid Class 1 or 2 contributions on relevant earnings at the lower earnings limit for at least 26 weeks. This means you must have worked for at least 26 weeks of the last two complete tax years; and
    • Second contribution condition - in both of the last two complete tax years, you must have paid or been credited with, Class 1 or 2 contributions to the value of 50 times the lower earnings limit.
    I've been going through this with a friend of mine whose cancer recently became terminal. I've pulled this apart and trawled through the regulations to see if I could find a way but there really is no way around this (not that I've managed to find anyway).

    Is income-related ESA an option? This is the means-tested ESA and looks at household income. If your sister has a partner who is working 24 hours a week or more, or she has more than £16,000 in savings, she won't qualify for income-related ESA.

    Is your Sister in touch with Macmillan Cancer Support and getting help from them? They're usually really good at the financial side of things and helping to ensure you have all the right entitlements and support.

    I hope this has helped a little bit.

    Best wishes
  • Nicolespost
    Nicolespost Community member Posts: 2 Listener
    Thanks so much from Nicole