Every two minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer and 1 in 2 people in the UK born after 1960 will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime*.
A cancer diagnosis can have a huge impact on both the physical and emotional health of patients, families, and caregivers.
Common feelings during this life-changing experience include anxiety, distress, and depression. Roles at home, school, and work can be affected. It’s important to recognise these changes and get help asap.
You might also earn less when having cancer because you have to work fewer hours or stop working. You might also have extra expenses, such as heating costs. There are government benefits that you might qualify for if you have cancer or care for someone with cancer. Working out which benefits you can apply for can be difficult and applying for them can be time consuming. But there are people who can advise you about your financial situation and help you apply for benefits.
You may qualify for government benefits if you have cancer or care for someone with cancer. If you have a disability or your cancer is advanced, you might also qualify for certain benefits. Help is available for bills and housing costs, as well as for children’s costs and other health expenses. You may be able to claim benefits to help you in your situation. You may also be able to get financial assistance from other organisations, further information can be found at:
Who manages benefits?
There are 2 main organisations that manage most benefits:
- The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) manages benefits for people who live in England, Scotland and Wales. This is through different services, including local Jobcentre Plus offices.
- The Department for Communities (DfC) manages benefits for people who live in Northern Ireland. This includes different services, such as Jobs and Benefits offices, Social Security offices and the Northern Ireland Pension Centre.
The NHS provides some benefits, such as help with health costs. Local councils provide other benefits, such as Housing Benefit. HM Revenue and Customs provides tax credits and Child Benefit.
Social Security Scotland offers some benefits to people in Scotland.
There are some differences in the benefits systems depending on where you live in the UK.
Help with finances
- Blood Cancer
- Breast Cancer Now
- Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group
- Cancer Research UK
- Macmillan Cancer Support
- The Macmillan online calculator works out which benefits and financial support you are entitled to. You can use it if you have cancer or if you are caring for someone with cancer.
- Prostate Cancer UK
- Prostate Cancer Foundation
- Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation
- Young Lives Vs Cancer
* Information from Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support