Finances are often a major problem for palliative care patients and families, due to loss of work or lower earnings. Additional expenditure can arise from the cost of travel, disrupted routines, needing new clothes because of weight change, cost of equipment aids or additional household appliances, special dietary requirements, child care, etc. Potential costs are many, which can be daunting especially when there may be less money coming in.
Financial concerns can take up a lot of time and cause a lot of worry, when there are other immediate and pressing things to come to terms with, such as medical treatment, increased care needs, seeking emotional or psychological support.
There are many ways to get advice and support, but many people have never claimed Welfare Benefits before and are unaware of possible grant funding. It is important to bear in mind that Social Security means you pay National Insurance when you are healthy, so you can expect financial support if your health suffers and leaves you incapable of working.
The main number to ring for new and existing claims is: 0800 055 6688
Or you can ring the following helplines:
- Disability & Carers Enquiry helpline (DWP) – PIP / Attendance Allowance: 0845 712 3456
- Carers Allowance: 0845 608 4321
- Jobcentre Plus (New Claims for under Pension age): 0800 055 6688
- Jobcentre Plus (Existing Claims for under Pension age): 0845 603 6095
- Pension Credit Claim Line: 0800 99 1234
- Leeds Welfare Rights Unit: (0113) 376 0452
This citywide service offers drop-in advice clinics at various One Stop Centres and they can also visit people in their own homes to review benefit claims and help to complete benefit application forms. The group also have two advisors to help people who have a cancer diagnosis.
Application forms for disabled blue car parking badges can be requested by ringing Leeds City Council on (0113) 222 4444.
Other useful contact organisations for advice on benefits include:
- Carers UK – The Voice of Carers has a section on financial help which includes the main benefits for carers and the people they look after.
- The Citizens Advice Bureau – has an online guide with links about benefits for people who are sick or disabled. There is also an information booklet, produced in partnership, with Macmillan Cancer Relief looking at benefits for people with cancer.
- Macmillan Cancer Support provides information on its financial help page and gives information about the Macmillan Benefits Helpline. Macmillan also produces a booklet called ‘Help with the Cost of Cancer: A Guide to Benefits and Financial Help for People Affected by Cancer’, which can be ordered on 0800 500 800.
- The Bereavement Benefits Service at the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) offers a quick and simple way to notify the DWP about a death and they will help you to apply for benefits you may be entitled to. The service can be contacted on 0845 606 0265 (option 2)
- Your District Nurse, Community Macmillan Nurse or Social Worker should be able to provide you with information about any local grants that are available.
- Macmillan Cancer Support awards grants which cover a wide range of practical needs. Applications are made on the patient’s behalf by healthcare or social work professionals. The website provides information about who can apply and what the grants are for, as well as how the application process works.
- CLIC Sargent may be able to provide care grants to help with immediate financial needs for families who have a child with cancer.