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Cancer can have a serious impact on personal finances. People often experience a loss of income, and at the same time increased expenses, such as travel costs to hospital.
State benefits can be hard to understand and difficult to access. Research indicates that the benefits system is not well-designed to meet the needs of people affected by cancer – it’s more like an obstacle course than a support mechanism.
Decisions taken around employment can significantly affect a person’s entitlements and long-term financial outlook. Before formally agreeing changes in working hours, resignation or early retirement, ensure your employee has obtained expert advice on the consequences for their own financial situation.
Financial factors that can be affected by employment include:
Your employee may wish to consult an independent financial adviser (IFA) about financial products such as pensions, insurance and investments. They can find a qualified professional at unbiased.co.uk| They can confirm an IFA’s credentials by checking the Financial Services Authority website|. IFAs may charge a fee for their services. Your employee can also get information from the Money Advice Service| (call 0300 500 5000) – an independent body set up by the government. It runs a free financial health check service and gives general advice about all types of financial matters, signposting to sources of more detailed help.
When people contact Macmillan, money is one of their most common worries. We are well-equipped to help, offering a wide range of publications and services.
We have information about how to access benefits and other kinds of financial support,| and your employee can also call the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00. They may also find our financial information| useful. Macmillan also offers a free benefits awareness course and has a national network of local financial advice centres that your employee can visit.
You can find out more about benefits from Citizens Advice or by calling the Benefit Enquiry Line on 0800 882 200. Visit direct.gov.uk| or nidirect.gov.uk| if you live in Northern Ireland. These websites contain practical information about public services and information about financial support, rights, employment and independent living.
If your employee belongs to a trade union, they may be able to offer advice.
Content last reviewed: 1 May 2011
Next planned review: 2013
For answers, support or just a chat, call the Macmillan Support Line free (Monday to Friday, 9am-8pm)
If you have any questions about cancer, need support or just want someone to talk to, ask Macmillan.
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© Macmillan Cancer Support 2013
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