Shola on benefits advice

A photograph of Shola smiling
A photograph of Shola smiling

When Shola had to give up work to have treatment for thymoma, a tumour affecting her thymus gland, she soon encountered financial problems.

But she didn’t think twice about knocking on Fiona's door, a Macmillan benefits adviser.

Shola's story

I was very concerned about my financial position, being ill and not able to work meant my salary reduced quite significantly. I ended up using a lot of my savings.

There are so many different facets to having cancer. You’ve not only got to deal with cancer – you’ve got to deal with the other problems that go with it. And having financial concerns is a very big aspect. It can be quite overwhelming.

When I used to go and have my chemotherapy, there was a Macmillan Welfare Rights Advisor there, Fiona. I just knocked on her door one day and asked if she could give me some support because of the financial issues I was experiencing after the reduction in my salary.

I explained my situation, my circumstances and what my concerns were and Fiona was very inviting and warm. She told me that I had a good case and would possibly be awarded the benefit that I was applying for. So it was good to hear that. It took away a lot of my anxiety that I was having about my financial situation. 

Fiona helped me with my benefit application, my personal independence payment assessment – she helped me fill out the form. I wouldn’t have been able to do that myself as it was quite a lengthy. Fiona made the initial contacts to the benefits agency and she also helped me with my appeal because there was a lengthy delay.

It was nice to know that I didn’t have to think about things by myself. There was always someone there I could phone if I was experiencing difficulties. And it just took away some of the stress and the anxiety that I would have had if I was doing it by myself, because I felt so overwhelmed by the benefits system. It was good just to know that someone understood my financial situation and that I wasn’t alone.

Without Macmillan I wouldn’t have proceeded with the benefit application. I wouldn’t have been able to do it myself – I was seven weeks post-surgery. Just knocking on the door and seeing that friendly face – Fiona made the process so much easier for me.

A photograph of Shola smiling

Watch: all about Shola's experiences

Make money one less worry

Watch: all about Shola's experiences

Make money one less worry