Cancer patients urged to check for £350 grant as extra £3.5m emergency funding unveiled

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Research shows that cancer patients face paying roughly £891 extra per month, with the long-term effects costing more than the average UK salary. As the cost of living threatens to throw more families into poverty, the cancer charity is urging patients to apply for grants which could be worth £350.

A cancer diagnosis often comes with a million different trains of thought and possibilities, but rarely is finances first on one’s mind. 

Not only is the diagnosis devastating both mentally and medically, but some could see themselves thrust into poverty due to the additional costs that come with cancer.

MacMillan, one of the leading charities in the UK supporting cancer patients and their families, found that the average financial burden of cancer is £891 per month with almost 2.5 million people paying the price. 

Their research also showcased thousands of patients who are struggling to pay their basic necessities due to the pandemic, with 83 percent of patients experiencing a financial whiplash.

More than one in three patients are severely affected financially by their diagnosis with the average cost of cancer increasing even more than the sky high inflation rate. 

The money burden of cancer is a combination of increased needs, unforeseen expenses and decreased earnings. 

29 percent of respondents sadly noted that they have experienced worse health overall due to their financial state combined with the pandemic while 10 percent have even had to miss hospital appointments.

Often, cancer patients are eligible for a range of welfare benefits but patients receiving these were seven times more likely to find it hard to stick to their treatment plan and twice as likely to experience worse health overall. 

Additionally, Personal Independence Payment recipients could face a wait of up to six months to receive their entitled benefits, the charity said.

In response to these startling statistics, Macmillan has announced additional £3.5million in funding for its Financial Grants scheme to help meet the soaring need of patients during the cost of living crisis. 

The charity noted it expects a 16 percent increase in the number of patients applying for grants in 2022 and just the first six weeks of the year saw over £1.6million being given to support these people.

Macmillan noted they are: “urging anyone worried about money to contact the charity’s financial support teams on 0808 808 00 00, free of charge, seven days a week”.

The charity also shared their top four tips for how people living with cancer can better manage their finances during these trying times.

Maximise income

This can be through claiming all the benefits one is entitled to and receiving grant advice, where billions of pounds go unclaimed. They added there are several options available for cancer patients dependant on their health, households and finances.

Inform providers

Telling one’s energy and water providers about their situation, and the fact that it may cause their consumption to go up and income to decrease can see patients added to the Priority Services Register. 

It means that in times of turmoil, such as Storm Eunice, patients on this register will be given priority utility services and some water providers can also give social tariffs for people on low-incomes or who have health conditions that require higher water consumption.

Pre-Payment Metres Emergency credit

Cancer patients who have pre-payment metres and are worried they may run out of credit can contact their energy providers to add emergency credit to their accounts. 

Macmillan advice

It should be noted that the charity cannot provide debt advice but can explain the processes and highlight the best organisations for patients to contact to get help. 

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