Useful Links and Resources

Directory of help on financial matters and benefits

Posted by Sara Liyanage on 01 December 2022

Woman sitting at her laptop.

Going through cancer can cause financial worries and issues. There is help and support available but sometimes it can be hard to find. This page provides some practical tips and guidance for where you can find help, information and support.

Top tips

  1. In the UK you are entitled to free prescriptions. You have to apply for a MEDEX (a medical exemption certificate) via a FP92a application form. Your doctor completes the form and sends it to the NHS and then you receive the certificate in the post. More information can be found on the NHS website. Ensure you speak to your doctor or medical professional about this.
  2. Check if you have any personal insurance policies that pay out upon a cancer diagnosis. For example, mortgage protection insurance or critical illness insurance.
  3. Talk to your employer if you are employed. It’s important to find out about what health and sickness policies your employer has in place for this kind of situation. For example, ask your employer about any work-related insurance policies that you might be entitled to benefit from, such as a group income protection scheme. Also ask about their policy on full time pay versus statutory minimum pay during absence. It might feel daunting to approach your employer but many employers have policies in place for employee illness.
  4. Simpal is a charity which provides free pre-paid sim cards and mobile phones to people going through cancer.
  5. You might be entitled to receive benefits if you’re unable to work and fulfil certain criteria depending upon the benefit. Benefits as a result of being diagnosed with cancer to consider are:
    • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) can help with extra living costs if you have both: (a) a long-term physical or mental health condition or disability and (b) difficulty doing certain everyday tasks or getting around because of your condition. Note that this is not ‘means-tested’ which means everyone can apply for it regardless of income Personal Independence Payment – Macmillan guide.
    • Employment and support allowance which is a benefit for people under State Pension age who have an illness or disability that affects how much they can work Employment and Support allowance – Macmillan guide.
    • Statutory sick pay – if you work for an employer and take time off sick because of cancer, you may be able to get sick pay Statutory Sick Pay – Macmillan guide.
    • Universal Credit (UC) – this is a benefit for people under State Pension age who are out of work or on a low income. If you are out of work because you have cancer or are a carer, you may be able to get Universal Credit Universal credit – Macmillan guide.
    • Attendance Allowance (AA) – this is a benefit for people at or above State Pension age. It is for people who have problems looking after themselves because of an illness or disability. Attendance Allowance – Macmillan guide.
  6. You might be entitled to early access to personal and workplace pensions if you are retiring early because of ill health – make sure you check the terms of any pensions that you have.
  7. There are lots of other benefits that are available to people fulfilling certain criteria regardless of their cancer diagnosis. The Citizens Advice, Macmillan and Maggies can all help you work out which benefits you might be entitled to and provide help in applying for them.
  8. For those of you struggling with mobility during primary breast cancer or whilst living with secondary breast cancer, you might be entitled to a blue badge. Check out the Government website to see whether you are eligible.

Resources

1. Macmillan National support telephone helpline

This is a free and confidential phone service for people living with and affected by cancer.

Call: 0808 808 0000

Open 7 days a week 8am to 8pm

They have two types of advisers:

Specialist – the welfare benefits team
Financial guidance – energy advice, pensions and mortgages

2. Macmillan in-person support

You can go into a Macmillan centre and speak to a financial support adviser in person.

To find a local Macmillan Financial support adviser check out this website page – Macmillan In Your Area.

3. Macmillan grants

Macmillan Grants are small, one-off payments to help people with the extra costs that cancer can cause. They are for people who have a low level of income and savings. For more information see this website page – Macmillan Grants and Loans

4. Macmillan website

The Macmillan website has a lot of information that will help you. Here are links to some of the most helpful places on the website.

Macmillan page on what benefits you might be entitled to claim after a cancer diagnosis.

Macmillan Benefits Calculator can help you find out which benefits and financial support you could be entitled to.

Macmillan Financial Support Tool. Information about what you might be entitled to and where to go for help.

Macmillan Welfare Rights Advisers can help if you’re worried about financial matters. You can call the free helpline to speak to one of their advisors.

Citizens Advice

The Citizens Advice are very well placed to advise you on what benefits you are entitled to, and to help you claim those benefits. You can visit your local Citizens Advice in person or you can call the national helpline. Full contact details are available on the Citizens Advice website here.

Maggies

Maggies are able to help with many benefits queries. They have an excellent information page on their website about all the benefits that you might be able to claim. If you live near a Maggies centre you can go into the centre and speak to a Maggie’s Benefits Advisor who can help you to understand what benefits or other support applies to you if you have cancer or are caring for someone who does; fill out application forms; and discuss issues that come up as you go through the claims process or if your circumstances change over time.

See if there is a Maggies Centre near here using this link.

Cancer Research UK

CRUK have lots of information on their website about benefits.

We’ve put this list of recommendations together from our experience as patients but we encourage to use these as a starting point from which to do your own research. The links and/or recommendations in this article to third-party resources are for your information and we take no responsibility for the content contained in those third-party resources. Any product recommendations made in this article are not product endorsements and unless otherwise stated, they are made without any affiliation to the brand of that product. We ask you to note that there may be other similar products available.

Reviewed May 2023

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