Monday 22nd September 2014
Mac Voice, the magazine for Macmillan professionals: Autumn 2014
Neal Southwick, Macmillan Financial Support Programme Lead, on the financial impact of cancer and the support services Macmillan offers
There is plenty of evidence to highlight the scale of the financial impact a cancer diagnosis can bring. For example, recent research commissioned by Macmillan has shown that four in five people having treatment for cancer are hit with an average cost of £570 a month as a result of their illness.
We also know that the Macmillan booklet Help with the cost of cancer is the most popular information resource we produce, and every week, our financial specialists on the Macmillan Support Line receive hundreds of calls from people affected by cancer who have money worries.
Meanwhile, Macmillan’s network of face-to-face benefits services helped 130,000 people and identified financial gains of £186 million during 2013 alone.
The role of Macmillan professionals
As Macmillan professionals, I am sure many of you have first-hand experience of supporting people dealing with the financial burden of cancer.
The fantastic work of professionals is crucial to ensuring financial conversations happen early and people are supported to access specialist services at key points in their cancer journey.
In this issue of Mac Voice
This issue of Mac Voice highlights a selection of the financial support available from Macmillan, including the Financial Guidance Service, which is supporting people with decisions about insurance, mortgages and pensions and a benefits advice partnership with Citizens Advice in Northern Ireland.
If you are based in England, Scotland or Wales, you may be interested to read about the pilot of a paper claim form for the benefit Personal Independence Payment (PIP). The form has been developed to help Macmillan professionals support people who are terminally ill in claiming PIP. As we explain in the article, PIP is not currently available in Northern Ireland, where a number of welfare reform changes are yet to be approved.
In the Q&A interview, Glenn Dawson, a Macmillan Advice Worker, explains his personal motivation for helping people affected by cancer to access funds they are entitled to.
We are also developing the way in which we provide Macmillan grants. Look out for more about this in a future issue of Mac Voice.
Developing our offering
Macmillan strives to help people with financial difficulties as much as possible, and we will keep aiming to provide integrated, consistent and targeted financial support services.
We will continue to develop wider partnerships to help meet the demand for financial support. And we will use the evidence from our services to inform our influencing work – reducing the financial impact of cancer or, where possible, preventing it from arising.
Macmillan Financial Support Programme Lead
1 Macmillan Cancer Support. Cancer’s Hidden Price Tag. 2013.