Self-employment and cancer
Worries about money and work are very common for people who have been diagnosed with cancer. These questions can be difficult for anyone, but may seem especially tough if you’re self-employed.
If you’ve built up your own business, you’ll probably have invested a lot of time and hard work. There’s a great sense of achievement and satisfaction in being your own boss. You may be concerned that having cancer could lead to you needing to start all over again when you have recovered, or having to close your business. Having a major illness can also affect your self-confidence, something which you may have come to rely on as a business owner.
You and your family may depend on the income from the business, too. This can add extra pressure as you may find it hard to see how to keep money coming in.
If you plan to carry on working, there’s a lot of support available to help see you through. The government, business organisations and voluntary groups offer a range of services to support small businesses, and many of these are free. You may also be eligible for benefits that you may not know about.
It can feel as though there is less support if you’re self-employed. You may not have a group of colleagues to fall back on, or a sick leave policy that keeps paying a salary while you have treatment. But being self-employed may mean that you have more scope for flexible working. It may be easier for you to change direction, or work in a new way that suits you better.
You can get more information about the benefits you may be entitled to from the Benefit Enquiry Line on 0800 882 200, or call the Macmillan Support Line free.
We have detailed information about self-employment and cancer, which includes practical information about cancer and treatments, balancing your health needs and your work, deciding who to tell and what to say to them, keeping the business operating, and managing finances.
You can also order a printed copy of the information on our be.Macmillan website.