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.

Getting help from a welfare rights advisor

The benefits system is complicated and applying can take lots of time, but there are people who can help. Macmillan has welfare rights advisers who you can call on the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00. They are specially trained to help you access any benefits you might be entitled to.

Depending on where you live, you may also be able to meet a Macmillan welfare rights adviser in person through a local service. Other organisations can also help, such as your local Citizens Advice.

Macmillan welfare rights advisers

Peter talks about the range of money worries people affected by cancer might face and how he can help.

About our cancer information videos

Macmillan welfare rights advisers

Peter talks about the range of money worries people affected by cancer might face and how he can help.

About our cancer information videos

What information do I need when I speak to a welfare rights advisor?

Speaking to one of our welfare rights advisers or a benefits adviser from another organisation can really help you get the financial support you need. The more information you can give the adviser, the more they’ll be able to help. Try to have the following items handy:

  • Any forms you need help with filling in.
  • 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 health-related benefits, try to also have:

  • a record of your diagnosis
  • details of your medical condition, treatments and the names of any medications you’re currently taking
  • contact details for your GP and any other health or social care professionals you see.

If you’re already receiving benefits, you should also have:

  • proof of any benefit payments you’re already getting, 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.

Macmillan grants

These are small, mostly one-off payments to help people with costs caused by or related to their cancer.

Everyone’s practical needs are different, so grants are available for a variety of things. Whether you need extra clothing, help paying heating bills or even a relaxing break, you may be entitled to a Macmillan Grant.

How much you receive will vary depending on your circumstances and needs, but the average grant is around £400. A grant from Macmillan would not normally affect the benefits you’re entitled to. It’s an extra help, not a replacement for other forms of support.

Who are they for?

You can apply for a Macmillan Grant if you have cancer, or are still seriously affected by your illness or treatment, and both of the following apply:

  • Your savings amount to no more than £6,000 if you’re 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, £289 for a couple or household of two people, £85 for each child, and £119 for each additional adult.

*Please note that Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment and Attendance Allowance don’t count as net income in our calculations.

While these are the general criteria, we do take individual circumstances into account, so please contact us.

How to apply

We aim to make our application process as simple and quick as possible.

  1. You need to apply through a health or social care professional. This may be a social worker, a district nurse or a Macmillan nurse if you have one.
  2. They’ll fill in a grant application form with you and send it to the Grants team at Macmillan. They will also include a short medical report from your specialist nurse, doctor or consultant.
  3. The Macmillan Grants team will process your application on the day they receive it.
  4. If your application is approved, payments are generally sent out within three working days.

Any personal or medical information included in your application will be treated confidentially.

Every week, more than 600 people receive a grant from Macmillan. If you have any questions about Macmillan Grants or if you’re having problems getting someone to fill in an application form with you, please contact us on 0808 808 00 00.

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.

Our leaflet Keeping warm without the worry has more information about help with heating costs. Order or download it for free at be.macmillan.org.uk or call 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, call us 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 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 help. Visit turn2us.org.uk.

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.

Back to About benefits

The Welfare Reform Act

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

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.