Friday 1st July 2016
Mac Voice, the magazine for Macmillan professionals: Summer 2016
‘Macmillan grants are one-off payments to help people with costs caused by or related to their cancer.'
'The average grant received is about £400, which can then be used to help with a variety of things such as new clothes, a holiday, new bedding or transport to and from the hospital.
Each application is sent in with a supporting statement detailing the specific needs relating to cancer and how financial help will address the needs identified. Two medical professionals must also support the application on behalf of the person affected by cancer. The grant is also means tested. The person living with cancer must not have more than £6,000 in savings, if they’re single, or £8,000 in savings as a couple. We allow a weekly net income of £170 for a single person, £289 for a couple or household of two people.
The role of the grants team is to assess the application and check it matches the criteria. This is done on the day the application is received and the person affected by cancer can receive their payment in as little as two days. Each member of the grants team can deal with up to 100 applications a day. If other issues are highlighted from the applications which may mean they would be eligible for some of Macmillan’s other financial support, such as the Fuel Management programme, we will refer them.
The most common things the grants are used for are clothes and fuel. One particularly memorable request was from the parents of a child who had cancer. They wanted to redecorate their daughter’s bedroom so that after her chemotherapy she would have somewhere cosy and bright to go to. After the room was decorated, the parents sent in a photo of the room so that we could see how the grant was spent which was great.
It can be emotional reading the applications, particularly when there are children or single parent families involved. It’s also very rewarding to know how much the work we do makes a difference.
In one week in February 2016, Macmillan paid 717 people affected by cancer £272,925, and this continues to increase week by week.’
Our partnership with StepChange Debt Charity
Macmillan and StepChange Debt Charity have been working together to support people affected by cancer who are worried about debt. Callers to the Macmillan Support Line can be referred to StepChange for specialist debt advice. The partnership has been a great success, with more than 3,500 referrals from Macmillan to StepChange, and advice provided on £12.3m of debt.
The people you support may also be able to meet a Macmillan welfare rights adviser in person through a local service. Click here to see where this is available. Other organisations can also provide support in person, such as your local Citizens Advice.
Financial information from Macmillan
People can also order financial information from Macmillan in booklets or other formats, by visiting be.Macmillan or calling the support line. This includes our most popular booklet, Help with the cost of cancer. Information is also available online. This includes our new online financial support tool, which can be accessed here. The tool includes a quick benefits checker and a benefits calculator. People can use these tools to estimate the benefits they may be able to get.