Supporting you with money worries

Thursday 24 December 2020

Jay Shah, Benefits Advisor at Maggie's West London, shares his advice on how we can help you with money worries when you have cancer.

Being diagnosed with cancer can lead to money worries, which can have a huge impact on how you're feeling, adding to anxieties and uncertainties at an already stressful time. I can help.

Many people are fearful. They lose their financial security and they’re worried about how this will impact the people they live with.

It’s easy to forget, but even travelling to the hospital can be an enormous cost for some people. Especially as many treatments can last for a year or more. 

People can feel a bit anxious about making an appointment with me, but it’s really straightforward. 

Here’s how we can help

Right now, our Benefits Advisors are here for you in our centres, on the phone and over email.

Find your nearest centre for contact details.

What a benefits session involves

  • First, you fill in a quick form to help us get a picture of your circumstances. 
  • Then we talk about how you get to your hospital appointments to see if we can help with your travel costs. 

What benefits are available

  • If you were employed you may be able to get sick pay or Universal Credit. 
  • If your mobility has been impacted you may be able to claim the disability allowance, PIP. 
  • Funding from other charities: for example, someone under 25 with cancer could get a one-off grant.

The help I give means people can stop worrying about their finances and focus on their treatment.

Making a difference

It’s never just about money. There are so many examples of how we’ve been able to make a huge difference to people’s lives. 

Vincent was really worried about not being able to pay his rent. The benefits we were able to access not only covered his rent but were higher than his earnings.

Vincent’s living conditions were poor, but we helped him get permanent one-bedroom accommodation. This really boosted his morale and helped him better cope with his diagnosis and treatment. 

Haitham was caring for his Dad who had cancer. He was very distressed as the council were threatening to evict him from his home and re-house him far away from his Dad and other family members.

We intervened, and the council agreed to keep the family together so he could continue to look after his Dad.

The impact of coronavirus 

Many of the people I support have been furloughed and then faced redundancy.

That’s hard enough for anybody but going through a cancer diagnosis at the same time can make these situations unbearable. We’re advocating for them to receive the benefits they’re entitled to. 

We’re applying for funding for lots of people with cancer so that they can get to their medical appointments safely.

So far, we’ve secured taxi cards for between 150-200 clients and Blue Badges, which means they don't risk public transport in a pandemic and can travel and park for free at the hospital.

I’m so proud that we can provide this kind of support at Maggie's.

Support Maggie's

For every £1 we spent on providing benefits advice, over £50 is claimed in financial support for our visitors – a total of £37.5 million in 2019.

You can support Jay and our benefits advisors across the UK to do even more. Please consider giving a donation today.

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