Thursday 19th September 2013
On 23 May, Macmillan and Disability Solutions celebrated the official launch of their Welfare Benefits Advice Service in Staffordshire.
The service, which was first established in July 2012, offers free, confidential advice to people living with cancer, their carers and family. It can help with issues such as benefit entitlements and other aspects of independent living that can ease the additional pressures a cancer diagnosis can bring.
Since the service launched, Macmillan advice workers have helped more than 700 people in Staffordshire who are affected by cancer, securing a total of £1.4 million in benefits and additional income for these people.
The Lord Mayor of Stoke on Trent joined healthcare professionals, council officials, volunteers and charity organisations to celebrate the launch and find out more about what the service can offer. Speakers included Dorinda Palmer, Macmillan Lead Cancer Nurse at University Hospital of North Staffordshire (UHNS), who explained how invaluable the service has been to people with cancer.
The event included an interactive learning element, with a workshop dispelling the myths and exploring the complexities of the benefits system. This was followed by a session around personal health budgets: a scheme Disability Solutions is piloting with patients with COPD and mental health issues and that will come into effect for people affected by cancer in 2015.
‘We would like to thank everyone who attended the launch and everyone who has helped us achieve so much,’ says Rodger Read, Chief Executive at Disability Solutions.
‘We’ve had links with Macmillan and UHNS, providing benefit advice to those affected by cancer, for the past eight years. Demand grew to a point where we could no longer cope and by working with Macmillan we were able to establish a service to cover the whole county. In Staffordshire there are high levels of deprivation and high numbers of people affected by cancer, so this service is vital and we look forward to its continued success.’
Our interactive financial guidance tool
People affected by cancer can get help with their money worries by using our interactive financial guidance tool.
This free and confidential tool, which was updated earlier this year, now offers new features, including an inheritance tax calculator and videos about the financial support that Macmillan offers. It also provides further information on mortgage, pension and insurance options, such as how to make a claim on an insurance policy or access an increased pension.
Please keep the tool in mind when you speak to people affected by cancer, and pass on the link to anyone who may find it useful.
To contact the Welfare Benefits Advice Service in Staffordshire, call 01782 667321.
The Macmillan website has more information about benefits for people affected by cancer.
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