A Sudden Cardiac Arrest can plunge a survivor and their family not only into a medical crisis but also a financial one.  It is not uncommon to have a prolonged period of recuperation and if the survivor was the main source of income this can cause real issues.

Some may be lucky enough to have understanding employers or insurance that covers the situation the survivor is now in.  However, it’s worth noting that a number of members have had insurance at the time of their SCA, but insurers have refused to pay out because the condition is not listed.  Some have been “lucky” in that their SCA was caused by a heart attack and have been paid out for this even though it is possibly the lesser of the two.

If you find yourself having to resort to help from the benefits system there can be a myriad of forms and processes to go through and they are often complicated and unwieldy, which is why it is essential to get advice and guidance before embarking on any applications.

Please note that we are unable to offer any direct advice or help on any benefits or financial issues, and any resources are provided on a purely informational basis.

The three main benefits people can claim are as follows:

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

Employment and Support Allowance is money for people who have limited capability for work because of their sickness or disability but do not get Statutory Sick Pay.

There are two types:

  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • contributory Employment and Support Allowance

Income-related Employment and Support Allowance is replaced by Universal Credit for people making new claims in Universal Credit full digital service areas, and for some people in other areas.

Government information can be found here.

ESA Assessment Support tool by seAp Charity

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is money for people who have extra care needs or mobility needs (difficulty getting around) as a result of a disability. There are two parts called components, the care component and the mobility component, you may qualify for one or both of these.

You can no longer make a new claim for DLA if you are 16 or over. You may be able to claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP) instead. If you have a child with an illness, injury or disability, see this Disability Living Allowance – children guide.

Government information can be found here.

Personal Independence Allowance (PIP)

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit that helps with the extra costs of a long-term health condition or disability for people aged 16 to 64. It’s gradually replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

Goverment information can be found here.

PIP Assessment Support tool by seAp Charity

Info on PIP medical assessments from Benefits & Work

Charitable Organisations

Citizens Advice (previously Citizens Advice Bureau)
They aim to provide the advice people need for the problems they face and improve the policies and practices that affect people’s lives. They provide free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities.

Are a charity that provides free independent and confidential advocacy services.  They provide services to help resolve issues or concerns you may have about your health and wellbeing or your health and social care services.

They are a national charity that helps people in financial hardship gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and support services.

Disability Rights UK
Disability Rights UK is the leading charity of its kind in the UK. We are run by and for people with lived experience of disability or health conditions.

The Money Advice Service
Set up by the government to provide free and independent advice regarding financial matters. They provide a good guide to what disability and sickness benefits people can claim.

Benefits & Work
They are an independent organisation providing guides, support a forum and benefits news.

Support Groups

You’re Able – online community of and for disabled people

Benefits & Work forum – Independant organisation providing resources


PIP/ESA Assessments Advice & Support Group
ESA/DLAPIP advice and support UK only
ESA DLA/PIP Info/Support (EDP Support Group)
A1 ESA/DLA/PIP Benefit Help and Support UK ONLY
ESA DLA/PIP – (Friendly) Debates and Campaigning