Bob Owens took medical retirement from his job as a butcher, after dropping to part-time hours upon diagnosis.

“At the time of diagnosis I had just taken on a mortgage following a divorce, and I enjoyed my job and wasn’t ready, mentally, to give it up.

I spoke to my specialist PH team and they were brilliant, suggesting I cut my hours down and speak to my boss about taking on light duties only.

Luckily my boss was very understanding about my condition and agreed to my terms of employment, even though it meant he had to work more hours himself as it was only a small company.

The difficulty came when I started to claim on my mortgage protection critical illness policy . Again, my specialist PH team were great, and did all they could to assist my claim.

But it took me one year of constant letters, phone calls and medical reports to get the right decision.  Insurance companies don’t realise how detrimental the worry of losing your home is to your condition.

I managed to keep working for a year and a half after following the insurance claim, but as a butcher [even with lighter duties] my job was still quite physical and I was finding it too much.

I had to retire through ill health at the age of 54, and my last shift was Christmas Eve 2018. I didn’t have a clue how to claim benefits, but once the DWP had seen my medical reports, they were quite helpful.

To be honest I’d still like to be working, but I’m positive about my circumstances and have learned to accept them.”