Practical and financial support for dealing with the symptoms of cancer
If your symptoms are causing any kind of disability, there are organisations who provide equipment that can help you. There are also a number of benefits you may be entitled to.
Social services can often provide aids to daily living, such as handrails and ramps for your home. The Disabled Living Foundation runs an information service. It has specialist advisers on incontinence and clothing, and occupational therapists who can give personal advice on aids and equipment. It has showrooms with specialist equipment on display, from special cutlery to walking aids and wheelchairs.
The British Red Cross has branches across the UK. Their volunteers can provide transport to help you get out and about, or help with shopping and simple tasks around the home. They also lend equipment for nursing someone at home, such as wheelchairs and commodes.
In many areas there are volunteer schemes that can arrange for someone to visit your home to provide company for you and a break for your carer. You can contact your local Community Service Volunteers to find out what’s available. Local information may also be displayed on notice boards in your GP surgery, your local library, community centre or church.
Financial help and benefits
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There are a number of benefits you may be entitled to. You may qualify for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) if you’re under 65 or for Attendance Allowance (AA) if you’re over 65.
There is a fast-track claim for people who may not live longer than six months. People who claim under this ‘special rule’ need to get their doctor to complete a form for either benefit (called a DS1500). It’s impossible to tell exactly how long someone may live and many people with advanced cancer may be entitled to this benefit. Special rules payments of AA and the DLA care component are reviewed after three years.
People who are unable to work due to illness or disability may consider applying for Employee Support Allowance (ESA). If you submit a DS1500 for Disability Living Allowance this can be used to fast-track your claim for ESA.
Information about benefits and financial help
For more information about benefits and financial support, talk to us. You may also find our section on financial issues useful.
You can find out more about benefits from your local Citizens Advice or by calling the Benefit Enquiry Line. You can also visit the Department for Work and Pensions website.
If your assessment shows that you need care from social services, you may be entitled to get direct payments from your local authority. This means that you’re given payments to organise social services yourself, rather than the local social services paying for and organising them for you. You can get information about direct payments from the Department of Health or from your local authority.