Who can help you get financial support?

We have financial guides and welfare rights advisers who can help with questions about pensions, insurance, loans, mortgages, wills and benefits. A welfare rights adviser can tell you what local government assistance and benefits are available to you. They can also help you fill out benefit claim forms. If you are self-employed, a welfare rights adviser will be able to advise you on benefits options. To speak to an experienced welfare rights adviser for free, you can call us 0808 808 00 00. You can also contact your council, or in Northern Ireland, your local Jobs and Benefits or Social Security Office, for benefits information. You can contact your nearest Citizens Advice Bureau for financial and legal advice. A financial adviser may also be able to help, although they will charge a fee for their services. Find one at findanadviser.org.

A grant may help ease financial problems. We offer one-off payments to people with cancer. Macmillan grants are dependent on your savings and your income. CLIC Sargent offers grants to children and young people with cancer. Turn2Us can help you find other charities offering financial assistance. The guide to grants for individuals in need 2013/2014 lists organisations that give grants. It is available from bookshops or local libraries.

We are currently updating our financial information following the March 2015 budget announcement. For the most up-to-date information, please contact us on 0808 808 00 00.

Where to get help

Financial support from Macmillan

You can call the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00 to speak to our financial guides. They are experts in helping people who have questions about insurance, loans, pensions, mortgages, wills and estate planning.

You can also speak to our welfare rights advisers by calling the Macmillan Support Line. They can offer advice to people with cancer, their family, and carers who need help to access benefits and other forms of financial support. They can look at your individual situation and find the best solutions for you. They can also help you fill in claim forms, which isn’t always an easy task to do on your own.

If you’d prefer to talk to someone face to face, come to one of our local benefits services. These are run in partnership with organisations across the UK. To find your nearest benefits service, call us on 0808 808 00 00 or visit the in your area section.

Financial support from other organisations

Some other cancer support organisations, hospitals and self-help groups also have benefits advisers. They can advise you on whether you may be eligible for any benefits or grants.

A social worker at the hospital may also be able to give you advice on sources of financial help. Your local council, or in Northern Ireland, your local Jobs and Benefits or Social Security Office, can give you information about benefits which you may be entitled to. Your local Citizens Advice Bureau can also give you financial and legal advice; its number will be in your local phone book.

It may be helpful to contact a financial adviser. Financial advisers can assess your individual situation and recommend the best course of action. They will charge a fee for their services, so depending on your situation you may prefer to get free financial guidance from Macmillan or another support organisation. You can find a local financial adviser by referral from family or friends, looking in your phone book, or by searching online on the findanadviser.org or Unbiased websites.

Speaking with a welfare rights adviser

The more information you can give your welfare rights adviser, the more they’ll be able to help you. Whether you’re meeting face-to-face or talking over the phone, try to have the following items with you:

  • any forms you need help filling in
  • proof of benefit payments, such as bank or Post Office account statements or recent award letters
  • letters about your existing benefits, including letters about benefit applications that weren’t successful
  • details of any savings or investments, for example recent statements
  • proof of expenses such as rent, mortgage payments and council tax
  • your national insurance number
  • proof of earnings, such as recent payslips and details of any other income, for example maintenance payments.

For health-related benefits, try to also have ready:

  • a record of your diagnosis
  • details of your medical condition, treatment(s), and the name(s) of any medication(s) you’re currently taking
  • a diary of your care needs
  • contact details for your GP and any other health or social care professionals you see.

Macmillan grants

These are small, mostly one-off grants to help people meet expenses caused by or related to their cancer. Everyone’s practical needs are different, so grants are available for a variety of different cancer-related expenses – from extra clothing or help paying heating bills to a much-needed break. Award amounts vary depending on circumstances and needs, but the average grant amount is £280.

A grant from Macmillan won’t affect your ability to claim benefits. It’s an extra boost, not a replacement for other forms of support. You can apply for a Macmillan Grant if you have cancer, or are still seriously affected by your cancer or treatment, and:

  • your savings amount to no more than £6,000 if you are single, or £8,000 as a couple or family
  • you have a low net income once rent, mortgage and council tax have been paid* (we allow a weekly net income of £170 for a single person or £289 for a couple or household of two people, plus £85 for each additional child and £119 for each additional adult).
  • *Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment and Attendance Allowance do not count as net income in our calculations. 

While these are the general criteria, we do take individual circumstances into account, so please get in touch with us.

You’ll need to ask a health or social care professional to complete a Macmillan Grant application for you. They could be a Macmillan nurse, district or community nurse, welfare rights adviser or hospital social worker. The application includes a medical report, which should be completed by your specialist nurse, doctor or consultant before the form is sent to the Macmillan Grants team. The Macmillan Grants team process the application on the day it’s received, and if an application is approved, a payment is sent within three working days.

If you have any questions about Macmillan Grants or if you’re having difficulty getting someone to fill in an application form with you, please contact us on 0808 808 00 00.

Loans and grants from the government and local councils

The UK government used to run a scheme called the Social Fund, which was made up of non-repayable grants and some repayable loans. This was for things like household expenses or expenses arising from an emergency.

This scheme has now ended and local councils are responsible for providing this type of support. Contact a welfare rights adviser for more information.

Loans and grants for heating costs

There are various types of support available if you’re struggling with heating bills. Your energy supplier may be able to provide a grant or a better payment arrangement for you. There are also energy-saving schemes and government grants.

Find out more about keeping warm without the worry including help with heating costs. Call us on 0808 808 00 00.

Other grants

There are other grants available from a variety of sources, including occupational funds, utility companies (gas, electricity and water companies) and charities. For more information, contact a welfare rights adviser or our cancer support specialists on 0808 808 00 00.

CLIC Sargent provides one-off grants to children and young people with cancer and their families. These can be used to help you meet the sudden extra costs that a cancer diagnosis can bring. They also have other grants that you may be entitled to.

Applications need to be made through a CLIC Sargent social worker. For more information, call 0300 330 0803.

Turn2us helps people find specific charities that may be able to offer financial assistance. Visit turn2us.org.uk or call 0808 802 2000.

The guide to grants for individuals in need 2013/2014 gives details of all the trusts and organisations that provide financial support to people in the UK. It’s available from bookshops or local libraries.

Self-employed people

If you’re self-employed, you can still apply for benefits.

Your entitlement to any benefit will depend on your personal circumstances, income, savings, and care and mobility needs. Please contact a welfare rights adviser for advice.

We have a section about self-employment and cancer, which you may find useful.

Back to Benefits and your rights

An introduction to the benefits system

There are many different types of financial benefit that could be available to you.

The Welfare Reform Act

There have been changes to the benefits system. There are a number of ways your benefits could be affected.

Protecting your right to state benefits

Some benefits depend on your national insurance contributions. There are organisations to help you find out what you are entitled to.

Macmillan grants

A Macmillan grant is a one-off payment for adults, young people or children with cancer, to cover a wide range of practical needs.