Getting benefits advice
You may qualify for government benefits if you have cancer or care for someone with cancer. This might be to help support you if you have to stop working, or for extra costs. The benefits you might be able to get can depend on things such as your age and income.
Working out which benefits you can apply for can be difficult. And applying for them can be time consuming.
Most people need help and support from people who know about the different benefits. They can support you through what is often a complicated process. A number of organisations can help.
Where to get financial support
You can ask to talk to a hospital or community social worker about your financial situation. They can give you advice on benefits and help you deal with debts. They also know about special funds you might be able to apply for.
Your hospital may also have a welfare rights adviser. Or you can contact Citizens Advice. Their advisers can help with filling out benefit forms.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) deals with benefits. They provide their service through Jobcentre Plus offices. Jobcentre Plus deals with benefits for people who:
- are unemployed
- can’t work because of a health condition or a disability
You can find the number of your nearest Jobcentre Plus office online or in your local phone book. You may need to look under:
- Department for Work and Pensions
- Jobcentre Plus
- Benefits Agency
In Northern Ireland, the Department of Communities (DfC) deals with benefits and pensions. For Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) and Income Support in Northern Ireland, you need to contact your Jobs and Benefits office.
For Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) you have to contact the ESA Centre.
Hearing problems and translation
All Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) offices have their own text phone number for people with hearing problems. They also train their staff in deafness awareness.
If you’re deaf or suffering from hearing loss, you might be able to use a video relay service. This is for some types of benefits such as Universal Credit. The video service allows you to make a call via a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter. You can use your tablet, smartphone, computer or laptop. The interpreter then relays the conversation in English to a DWP staff member.
The DWP will provide a translator for people who don’t speak English or Welsh. Let them know in advance if you need this. You can bring your own interpreter if you prefer.
Macmillan Cancer Support provides support and guidance on how to deal with the financial impact of cancer.
You can contact their team of trained Welfare Rights Advisors (Monday-Friday 8am-8pm) or Financial Guides (Monday-Friday 8am-6pm) on 0808 808 0000.