Sarifa on cancer and the challenges of claiming PIP

Published: 09 November 2022

Sarifa was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010. Here she shares her story about the challenges of claiming PIP. We are working with people such as Sarifa to campaign for change and to make sure the system is fair.

Meet Sarifa

Sarifa, from east London, was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer in 2010. She was receiving Personal Independence Payment (PIP) but it unexpectedly stopped 2017 and she had to fight to receive it again – waiting 6 months for it to be awarded. She also supports a group of women who are waiting for PIP.⁠

It is unacceptable that people with cancer are waiting so long for the support they are entitled to. We want to see a system that enables people with cancer to maintain their wellbeing and independence.

That's why we're calling for the Government to cut long waiting times for PIP down to 12 weeks. Find out more about our Pay PIP Now campaign and how you can get involved.

“The process of claiming PIP can be very difficult."


An Asian lady wearing a cream cardigan and a dark red scarf.

I support a group of women with cancer who are trying to access PIP. Some of them are now talking about whether they're going to be eating or putting the heating on while they wait to receive PIP.

It is having a massive impact on their mental and emotional well-being. I've had women coming to me in tears because they don't know how they're going to manage during the long wait.⁠



"At one point, my PIP payments were stopped for 6 months."

It was really detrimental to my health because of the financial implications. That's how I understand what life can be like for the many people who are waiting so long for their PIP payments.

I had to restrict things like spending on nutritious food because I couldn't afford it. I had to restrict seeing my family and friends as I couldn't afford the taxis, I need due to my serious mobility needs.⁠

I fought to get my payments back, and now that I am receiving what I am entitled to, it means I can see my loved ones and look after my health again.

We need the Government to pay PIP now, so others like me don't have to put their lives on hold, suffer, or get into debt.

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We are here for you

Cancer comes with many hidden costs. But Macmillan is here to support you. You may find these resources helpful:

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