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Cancer patients 'could lose vital £100 a week'

By Lindsay Fergus

More than 3,000 cancer patients across the UK are to lose almost £100 a week in benefits under welfare reforms, a leading cancer charity has claimed.

Under the Welfare Reform Bill many cancer patients may have their Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) removed after one year. Macmillan Cancer Support estimates more than 3,000 cancer patients will be affected, leaving some without financial support at a time when they are simply unable to return to work.

Government statistics show that 94% of claimants, including cancer patients, still need ESA after one year.

Heather Monteverde, Macmillan's general manager for Northern Ireland, said: "Cancer patients have been telling us how worried they are that the Government is going to take away their benefits before they have recovered. These are people who want to work but, the simple fact is, it can take a long time to recover from cancer."

Macmillan is campaigning for the Bill to be amended so every cancer patient eligible for non-means-tested ESA will receive it.

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