Mental Health

Finding financial support following a cancer diagnosis

Over one million people living with cancer in the UK say this will be the ‘hardest year of their life’. If you’re worried about your finances, Macmillan Cancer Support is here for you

The cost of living crisis is impacting many of us in some way or another, but for those living with cancer, this is an especially difficult time. Macmillan wants to raise awareness of the support that is available.

The latest data from leading cancer charity, Macmillan, reveals that 16% of people going through or recovering from cancer in the UK have had to sell their personal possessions or borrow money to get by. Almost one in three are struggling to pay their basic living costs, like food and energy. Even more worryingly, some people are resorting to unlicensed lenders such as loan sharks and, in extreme cases, are even at risk of being evicted from their homes.

In these desperate times, 39% of those going through or recovering from treatment are buying or eating less food and spending more time in bed to try and stay warm. These measures are putting their health and wellbeing at risk. What’s more, one in five feel that their current financial situation is not enough to see them through the economic crisis.

The rising costs we are all experiencing are in addition to the existing financial impact that a cancer diagnosis brings. Macmillan Cancer Support is calling for people to urgently access support, so what help is available?

Financial help

Receiving a cancer diagnosis is likely to change your financial situation. You may need to reduce your working hours or take more time off. Your expenditure may also rise as you accommodate hospital parking, transport, and bills such as heating to support your treatment.

Benefits

You may be entitled to benefits or other financial support from the government. To learn more about what you may be eligible for, you can contact the Welfare Rights Advisors on the Macmillan Support Line.

Energy

Cancer treatment often means people are spending more time at home and are needing to up their heating use to keep warm during their treatment. If you’re struggling to pay your bills, Macmillan can advise on the grants available and help you navigate conversations with suppliers.

Macmillan Grants

For those on a low level of income and savings, Macmillan can offer grants. These are small, one-off payments to help people overcome extra costs. Macmillan Grants act as an extra bit of help, not a replacement for support, so they may affect the benefits that you are entitled to.

Richard Pugh, Head of Partnerships at Macmillan Cancer Support, says, “We know that this is a very difficult time for many people and that it can be hard to make the first move in reaching out for support. It’s crucial that anyone who is feeling the pressure knows that we are here for them. We have specially trained teams on our Support Line who can offer confidential advice or simply provide a listening ear during this challenging time.”

Whether it’s benefits or emotional support, Macmillian is here for you. Get in touch by calling 0808 808 00 00, between 8 am and 8 pm, seven days a week.

For more information on cancer and the emotional support that is available, visit the Counselling Directory.

Macmillan Cancer Support gives people with cancer everything they’ve got. If you’re diagnosed, your worries are their worries. They’re finding ever-better ways to help people with cancer, helping to bring forward the day when everyone gets life-transforming support from day one.

If you’d like to donate, volunteer, raise money, or campaign with them, call 0300 1000 200 or visit macmillan.org.uk

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