Living with cancer

Financial help

The diagnosis of cancer may result in extra costs due to travelling, special diet, or childcare at a time when finances are restricted, due to an inability to work. If you are employed you may be entitled to occupational sickness benefits. Whether you are employed or not, you may be entitled to state benefits. If you are supporting someone else who has cancer there is a seperate section for Financial help for carers

Some specialist charities also provide patient grants. You may want to make contact to see if they can offer you any financial help. You will also find information about gifts, treats and experiences offered by other organisations in our gifts, treats and experiences section. 

Maggies Centres have Benefits advisors offering free advice specifically for people affected by cancer. Check individual Centre timetables for drop in benefits advice or drop into the Centres anytime to book an appointment with a benefits advisor. 

Prescription charges vary depending on where you live in the UK.

Prescriptions are now free for anyone living in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. People with cancer in England have been able to apply for an exemption certificate (FP92A) allowing them to access to free prescriptions since 1 April 2009. You can get get a form from your GP or from your hospital team. You can find out more the certificate and how to apply for one by scrolling down this page and following the links on prescription charges.

This gives someone with cancer exemption from English prescription charges - £8.40 a time - but not their carers or family. Nor does it help with other health costs that apply across the UK. However, you may qualify for help with those other costs - or others for help with English prescriptions - on grounds of low income.