Financial support is available in the form of benefits and grants and there are a number of ways you can live on a reduced income and borrow money safely.
The costs that come with cancer can have far more of an impact on your finances than you may have anticipated. Understanding the benefits system is not always easy, but it can help you cope during difficult times.
The Social Security Agency (SSA) is responsible for benefits in Northern Ireland. It has different offices that handle these benefits, including Social Security or Jobs and Benefits offices, the Disability and Carers Service, and the Pension Service.
For benefits information and support in Northern Ireland visit www.nidirect.gov.uk or contact the Benefit Enquiry Line on 0800 220 674 (textphone 028 9031 1092 if you are deaf or hard of hearing). You can also phone the Macmillan Benefits Advice Service on 0300 1233 233 option 1.
You may be entitled to a Macmillan grant. This is a one-off payment for adults, young people or children with cancer that covers a wide range of practical needs such as heating bills, extra clothing, or a much needed break. Every week over 600 people receive a grant from Macmillan Cancer Support.
These grants are means tested and you will need to apply through the Macmillan Benefits Advice Service or a health or social care professional, such as a social worker, district nurse, or a Macmillan nurse if you have one.
For more information on cancer charities offering grants to people with cancer and their families contact the NHSCT Macmillan Information and Support Service, Telephone: 028 9442 4000 ext 333079 / 334046, Mobile: 077 9584 5435 or Email: CancerInformation@northerntrust.hscni.net