Work, finances and education

We know this is a worrying time for the cystic fibrosis (CF) community, and many have questions and concerns about the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it may affect them. We have tried to provide some answers to the frequent questions we’ve received to our Helpline below. It’s important that people also seek advice from their CF team to support their decisions.

Last updated: 31 August 2022

  • Work

    Some people with CF have shared their concerns about returning to their workplace as and when restrictions ease. It may be useful to remember that cystic fibrosis can be classed as a disability, which means people with CF have the right to request reasonable adjustments at work. This could include some home-working, particularly when infection rates are high.

    You can read more about this, and find information to help explain cystic fibrosis to employers in our employment factsheet. You may also find the latest guidance from the CFMA helpful, as well as government guidance for those who were classed as clinically extremely vulnerable across the UK.

    ACAS has provided some useful guidance for employees and employers, which is quite general but is also very clear and straightforward.

    The ‘Safe At Work’ campaign has also produced a letter to employers which you may find useful if you are concerned about the risk of COVID-19 as and when you return to your workplace.

    If you are worried about the financial implications of any changes to your employment status, please speak to your CF specialist social worker or contact our Helpline, who can provide information on benefits and our welfare grant programme. The helpline can also arrange for you to have personalised advice from our Welfare and Rights Advisor or our Welfare Officer, who can support you to understand your rights and the options available. Further information about this can be found below.

    For advice about Carers Rights at work, visit Carers UK.

    An important part of understanding your employment rights is knowing whether you are employed or self-employed. You can find useful definitions on the ACAS website.

    If you are unable to work due to COVID-19, see guidance from the links below. Most schemes across the UK for self-isolation payments have ended or have been drawn down but there are differences across the devolved nations. Please check below if you are entitled to anything.

    In addition, you could claim Statutory Sick Pay

    Anyone not eligible to receive sick pay, including those earning less than an average of £120 per week, some of those working in the gig economy, or self-employed people, may be able to able to claim Universal Credit and/or New Style Employment and Support Allowance.

  • Education and early years settings

    For guidance on education across the four nations, visit the links below:


Here to help

Our Helpline is available to anyone looking for information or support with any aspect of cystic fibrosis, a listening ear, or just to talk things through. Our friendly team are here if you need us.

Mental and physical health

Helpful advice on how you can maintain your emotional and physical wellbeing through a range of activities.

COVID-19 treatments and cystic fibrosis

This page contains information about the latest treatments for COVID-19 that some people with cystic fibrosis (CF) may be eligible for if they test positive for COVID-19 on a PCR test.

COVID-19 vaccination

Here you can find information about COVID-19 vaccination for children and adults with cystic fibrosis and for parents/carers. 

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Information and support

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