If it wasn’t for Emma doing her job I would never have questioned whether I was receiving the right benefits – and it was twice that happened so I would have settled for the first payment because I knew very little about the benefits system.
The first time I made contact with Emma I think I was referred to the CABS team through my Macmillan lung specialist and just made an appointment and I think I went in to Lewisham hospital, which was the first place I met Emma.
As you can probably appreciate my mind was all over the place so to have someone like Emma who was organised and everything was precise – because of her organisation it made me become a bit more organised in how I was going to tackle my recovery.
'I took the 18 months I needed to make sure I was ready to go back to work.'
I visited Emma on a couple more occasions and she looked at the benefits and showed me different things I could do to up my benefits, like claiming disabled living allowance.
And then basically the same thing happened all over again until I was at a stage where the money I was receiving was at a level I could actually live on. That put my mind at ease and I just basically relaxed. I took the 18 months I needed to make sure I was ready to go back to work.
Being able to not to rush back to work it allowed me to recover fully instead of worrying how I was going to meet payments.