It’s been widely reported that the current cost of living crisis with spiralling energy costs threatening the country in the coming months on top of rising bills for food and other every day items is now a bigger concern for many people living with cancer than their cancer itself.
As Laura Lee, Chief Executive of Maggie’s, says, “it’s truly shocking that people living with cancer – one of the hardest most frightening experiences of their lives – are now so worried about money that it’s overshadowing the fact they’re living with cancer.”
The financial impact of cancer on individuals and families is already huge with extra costs for things like transport to and from hospital appointments, specialist equipment for the home, or things like wigs and clothing following treatment, as well as food and heating costs when people are recovering at home. It’s no wonder the financial crisis is a real worry for many people living with cancer.
The good news is that there are organisations out there who can help. Whether that’s help accessing grants and benefits, charities that arrange free transport to and from hospital, or advice on financial support available to you if you are reducing your working hours or having to take time off during treatment and recovery.
You can search on Cancer Care Map by putting in your postcode, and searching for ‘financial help’ or ‘money advice’ – don’t forget to include National organisations in your search as there are many fantastic helplines and online support services that you can access wherever you are in the country.
You could also search to find your nearest Maggie’s Centre, Macmillan Cancer Support team, Citizens Advice, or CLAN support centre if you are in Scotland, all of who offer financial advice.
We’ve picked out some organisations that you might not have heard of that could be a good place to start if you have any worries about money or how your finances are going to stretched over the coming months while you are also undergoing treatment or impacted by cancer.
Macmillan Support Line
The Macmillan Support Line is a helpline providing an information and advice service for cancer-related questions, advice and signposting to services, as well as emotional support with clinical, practical, welfare and financial related information.
MoneyHelper are a government-backed organisation offering free and impartial help as to what disability benefits and entitlements are available and how to apply for them. It can help people find professional financial advice to make choices about long-term care for themselves or a loved one. It also tells people what support is out there to help them manage their money better and lead a more independent life by adapting their home or making travel easier.
Macmillan Work Support Service
The Macmillan Work Support Service provides confidential advice to people who are employed or self-employed and affected by cancer. The service can help people to understand their right to work, offer guidance on how to talk to employers and negotiate adjustments at work. For more information please visit the website.
National Debtline are a charity offering free, confidential and independent debt advice over the phone and online. It will not cold call or pass your personal information to other companies. It can help with a range of financial problems such as council tax or rent arrears. Its money advisers can help people work out what they can afford to pay towards their debt and help them to find the right debt solution.
Cancer Relief UK
Cancer Relief UK is a charity helping people who experience financial hardship during their life-limiting conditions. It raises money through donations and appeals to provide financial help for treatments, equipment, bills, travel costs, family treats and last wishes