Grants and loans

If you are living with cancer and need financial help, you may be able to get a grant or loan. Find out more about the different types.

Which grants and loans are available?

If you have cancer and need financial help, you may be able to get a grant or loan. These are available from local and national organisations.

Find out information about:

  • government and local councils grants and loans
  • grants and loans for heating costs
  • grants and loans from charities and other organisations
  • Macmillan Grants.

Government and local councils

Different areas have local welfare assistance schemes that provide grants and loans. These schemes help people who are on a low income, or getting certain benefits, in an emergency situation. You could get:

  • Vouchers or a pre-paid card to pay for food, fuel or clothing
  • Basic living items, such as a bed, cooker or fridge.

How to apply depends on where you live.

  • If you live in England, or Scotland, contact your local council at
  • If you live in Wales, contact the Discretionary Assistance Fund on 0800 859 5924 (free from a landline) or 033 0101 5000 (charged at local rate).
  • If you live in Northern Ireland, contact the Finance Support Service on 0800 587 2750 or use textphone 0800 587 2751.

You can also speak to a Macmillan welfare rights adviser on 0808 808 00 00 for more information.

Grants and loans for heating costs

There are different types of support available if you are struggling with heating bills. Your energy supplier may be able to give you a grant, a discount or a better payment arrangement. There are also energy-saving schemes and government grants to reduce your costs.

We have more information about managing your energy costs.

Charities and other organisations

Other sources of help include occupational funds, help from utility companies, including gas, electricity and water companies, and help from charities. For more information, call the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00.

CLIC Sargent provides one-off grants to children and young people with cancer and their families. These can help with the extra costs that cancer can cause. Applications can be made through a CLIC Sargent social worker or by completing a form. For more information, call 0300 330 0803.

Turn2us helps people find specific charities that may be able to offer financial help. They have a grants search tool on their website.

Your local library may have books about organisations that provide grants. This might include A guide to grants for individuals in need, published by the Directory of Social Change.

Macmillan Grants

Macmillan Grants are small, mostly one-off payments to help people with the extra costs that cancer can cause. They are for people who have a low level of income and savings.

If you need things like extra clothing, help paying heating bills or even a relaxing break, you may be able to get a Macmillan Grant.

How much you get will depend on your situation and needs. A grant from Macmillan would not normally affect the benefits you are entitled to. It is an extra bit of help, not a replacement for other support.

Find out more about Macmillan Grants.