Macmillan Grants

Macmillan Grants are small payments to help people with the extra costs that cancer can cause.

Coronavirus update

Macmillan’s priority is the health and wellbeing of people affected by cancer, our staff and volunteers. During this extraordinary time we are committed to maintaining this essential service and grant applications submitted through our online portal will be processed as normal.

However, in response to government guidance, our office has now closed, meaning the Grants team will have no access to paper grant applications sent to the office. If absolutely necessary, and you are unable to submit the application online, please call our Assisted Digital Line on 01274 537 874. Contact us at with any queries.

Since 1924, Macmillan Grants have been helping people meet the financial needs that can arise from cancer or its treatment. Macmillan Grants are small, discretionary payments to help people with the extra costs that cancer can cause. They are usually a one-off payment for people who have a low level of income and savings.

Our grants can help meet a wide range of practical needs arising from cancer, such as to:

  • purchase new clothes needed because of changes to body shape or size
  • pay high heating bills incurred when more susceptible to feeling cold during chemotherapy
  • cover the cost of a much-needed short holiday in the UK during, between, or after treatment, or when no further treatment options are available.

We can also help with more specific requests that will help improve a person's comfort or quality of life. If you are unsure whether a request for a grant is likely to be successful, please contact us first for an informal discussion, prior to submitting an application.

The amount awarded will depend on your situation and needs. A grant from Macmillan would not normally affect any benefits received. It is an extra bit of help, not a replacement for other support.

Who can apply?

Who can submit a grant application?

We aim to help as many qualifying people as possible meet their particular needs.

Health and social care professionals working with people living with cancer help us to achieve this by taking the role of an applicant, and submitting the applications on behalf of a person living with cancer. In some cases, applications must also be supported by a second professional. 

  • Person 1: A healthcare professional, a benefits adviser, a social worker or someone acting in some other professional capacity with, or on behalf of, a person affected by cancer. This person is 'The Applicant' who leads the submission of the application, completes Part 4 and should be familiar with the person living with cancer's situation. If we need any further information, this will be the person we contact.
  • Person 2: If 'The Applicant' is not a healthcare professional, a second person is required to complete a medical report which contains medical details about a person's cancer diagnosis, prognosis and the impact of the cancer on the individual. This person can be a Macmillan nurse, clinical nurse specialist, hospital doctor, GP or any other Macmillan healthcare professional involved in a person living with cancer's care.

Please note: we do not accept self-referrals completed by people living with cancer or their family or friends acting on their behalf. If a self-referral is received, the application will not be considered until we receive further supporting information from a health or social care professional.


Eligibility criteria

To be considered for a grant a person living with cancer must meet our eligibility criteria:

  • Have a cancer diagnosis, or still be affected by cancer, or its treatment.
  • Be a UK resident.
  • Have no more than £6,000 in savings (if a single person) or £8,000 savings (if a couple or family).
  • Have a low income after paying rent, mortgage and Council Tax. This means a weekly income of £170 for a single person, £289 for a couple or household of two people and £85 for each dependent child. Depending on the nature of the situation and request, we may take into account additional adults in the household.

    We do not count Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Attendance Allowance (AA) in our calculations.
  • The request for the grant must demonstrate a clear link to the impact of cancer and its treatment.

These are general rules, but we do consider individual situations. Please contact us if you have any questions.


Making a successful grant application — supporting explanation

Together with the medical report and financial information, the 'supporting explanation' is a significant part of the application.

This section should be used to present a compelling case. The more compelling the case, the more likely the application will be successful.

The information provided will inform our decision to make a grant and determine the value of the award.

This section should be focused on explaining:

  • the specific needs that have arisen from, or are related to, cancer and/or its treatment
  • how the financial help requested will help to address the identified needs.


It can be useful to include the following information:

  • specific information about how the amount of financial support requested has been estimated, for example:

        - '10 visits by car to St Thomas Hospital (a 30-mile round trip) over a one month period'
        - 'A convalescent break in Cornwall for three nights in July at a cost of £X per person for accommodation and £X per person for travel'
  • A fuller picture of the package of support provided to the person, for example:

        - advice is being provided on benefit entitlement
        - help requested and/or provided from the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme
        - a community care grant application has been made.

We will consider an application whether or not there are other forms of support.


In determining a potential grant award the Grants Team will consider:

  • the extent to which there is a compelling case about the need for financial support at this time
  • the existence of a clear connection between the impact of cancer and the items or services requested
  • if information in the medical report corroborates the information provided in the supporting explanation
  • the prognosis. There may be urgent, pressing, unmet needs that cannot be met and/or the outlook is poor and quality of life is an issue
  • whether a grant has been made to the patient previously. Unless the patient's circumstances have significantly deteriorated for an identified reason, it may not be possible to provide further financial help on more than one occasion but the merits of individual cases will be assessed
  • whether or not the estimated cost of an item or service is reasonable and if there is an explanation for costs that seem higher than would generally expected
  • whether there are statutory resources, patient's family resources or any other alternative forms of support available
  • whether there has there been an impact on a family's financial situation (for example: working age with mortgage and child care responsibilities)? Or have needs significantly increased? Is comfort or quality of life an issue?


Each application is individually assessed on its own merits and all information provided is fully considered.

Please note: the fact that an individual is experiencing financial problems is not a sufficient reason in itself to justify a grant. The request for financial support must always demonstrate a clear connection between a financial need and the impact of cancer.

How to apply

If you would like to submit a grant application on behalf of a person living with cancer, you can complete our online application form.

If this is your first time applying online, will need to complete a one-off registration to access our online application platform, from which you will be able to submit and track progress and outcomes of applications.

If you are unable to access our online form directly, you can contact our support line who will complete the application over the phone with you.

The number to call is 01274 537 874

If you have questions about Macmillan Grants, email us at