Benefits tests for cancer sufferers have been criticisedA number of charities have criticised procedures which see Britons receiving treatment for cancer subject to back-to-work interviews if they wish to receive benefits.

Macmillan Cancer Support and Citizens Advice said it was “cruel” to expect such people to perform tests in order to be awarded employment and support allowance, which last year replaced incapacity benefit and income support.

According to the Telegraph, people who are receiving chemotherapy or radiotherapy and those who are terminally ill are supposed to be automatically exempt from the tests, which aim to get people back to work.

Yet a report from Macmillan and Citizens Advice – Failed by the System – revealed that some Britons with only a few months to live have been told they will need a medical examination, while other cancer sufferers battling the long-term effects of the illness were advised they were fit to work.

Mike Hobday, head of campaigns at Macmillan, said: ”It’s cruel and completely unacceptable that people who are terminally ill or going through gruelling treatment are being made to jump through hoops to get money they should receive automatically.”

It was recently reported that teacher Melinda Bodnar, who had been given only a 30 per cent chance of survival after first being diagnosed with bowel cancer, was suing Oaktree Nursery School in Balham after claiming to have been fired via email.