Welfare rights advice

We know that money is a big and often difficult thing to talk about when you’re living with cancer. Find out more about how you can access benefits which you’re entitled to.

How our welfare rights advisors can help you

Living with cancer can affect your money, whether you are working, unemployed or retired. You may earn less if you stop working or reduce your hours. You may spend more on everyday costs, like heating or travelling to hospital.

If you are affected by cancer there are a range of benefits you may be entitled to which could help you with your everyday living costs.

Our specialist advisors can help you to find out what benefits you might be entitled to, such as:

  • Universal Credit
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

We can also help you find out about other types of support available, such as:

In this video: Mo shares his experience of the financial impact of cancer. He talks about the challenges he faced and how Macmillan supported him to find benefits he was entitled to.

How to talk to an adviser

Macmillan Support Line

The welfare rights service is available to anyone who calls the Macmillan Support Line.

Our trained advisors, including cancer information specialist nurses can provide emotional support and practical information about all aspects of cancer. If you have any questions or you just need someone to listen, get in touch.

You can ask us about:

How to contact a Macmillan advisor

Most people call the Macmillan Support Line for free on 0808 808 00 00 as it can be easier to discuss diagnosis, treatments or practical support in real time with a specialist.

Our support line nurses and specialists offer a different service to the Macmillan nurses who work in hospitals, hospices and in the community. We have information about how a Macmillan nurse can help you.

"That phone call was like a huge, big hug down that line. I will never forget it; I will never forget how I felt. I will never be able to thank you enough. You gave me hope and you asked me what I needed." Melanie

You can also chat online with our specialists. When chat is open you will see a 'Chat to us' icon at the bottom right of your screen. Click this to start the service. You will be asked a few questions to direct you to the best service to support you.

If you would like to send us an email please complete our online form. All emails are answered during opening hours and we will reply within two working days.

However you get in touch we will always help you get support from the relevant service. The opening times for each of our support services are listed below.

Opening times 

How do I get support if the helpline is closed?

We know that there can be times that you might need information and support when the Macmillan Support Line is closed.

What to do in an emergency

If you need emergency medical help you should talk to your doctor immediately, call 999 or go to your local hospital’s A&E department. They will understand and are trained to help.

You can also call Samaritans for free anytime on 116 123

Other ways we can help

Booklets and resources

Preparing for your call with an adviser

We recommend having any information about your household income or medical conditions with you before speaking with an adviser. Find out more about preparing for your call with an adviser.

Online tools and information

We also have information and tools online:

  • Our benefits information provides information on getting support with travel, childcare and paying bills.
  • Our Online Community is a safe space where you can chat anonymously with experts and people in a similar situation to yours. You can talk about anything cancer related, including benefits.
  • Find out what benefits you might be eligible for by completing our benefits calculator.
  • If you are worried about money. Answer a few questions to get advice about money and cancer to help you find the support you need.

Our commitment to service

Our customer charter [PDF] is our commitment to you and lets you know what you can expect from us.

We also provide a complaints procedure so you can highlight ways we can improve our service.

We hold the Advice Quality Standard, which provides you with assurance that the we have met certain criteria that demonstrate a commitment to quality.

How we can help

Macmillan Grants

If you have cancer, you may be able to get a Macmillan Grant to help with the extra costs of cancer. Find out who can apply and how to access our grants.

Energy Advice
Our Advisors can check if you’re entitled to any additional support through charitable grants – no matter who supplies your gas, electricity and water.
Financial guidance
Financial issues can cause worry when someone becomes ill. You may be able to claim benefits to help you in your situation. You may also be able to get financial assistance from other organisations.