If you or a loved one suffer from a long-term illness, it will undoubtedly have a considerable impact on your life and your budget. You’ll have to deal personal incapacity issues – whether they’re your own or someone you’re caring for – and the whole process can be time consuming, physically and emotionally demanding and will on impact your finances. However, it doesn’t mean you need to struggle on your own. Help is available.

If you are on long term sick absence from your work, check you are getting all the income you’re entitled to. This includes Statutory Sick Pay and any benefits you may be eligible for to replace your earnings. You also have the legal right to ask your employer to make reasonable adjustments to make your return to work easier. This could mean moving to a flexible working hours pattern, changing your responsibilities – particularly if your job involves physical labour – and introducing specially adapted equipment such as an adjustable chair or desk or a hands-free telephone.

If you’re acting as carer for someone with substantial care needs, the impact can be considerable – on your mental wellbeing and work / life balance, as well as on your budget.

It can be an emotionally taxing experience. But it is one you don’t have to bear on your own. Help is available through local authority social services, who can provide you with respite care to help you take time off, modifications to your home to make caring easier and counselling support. 

You may also be entitled to an allowance during the time you care, as well as a reduction in council tax. Contact your local authority for more information.

These organisations can help you navigate through your responsibilities and entitlements: