Managing the cost of cancer
Cancer in or around pregnancy comes with financial costs. When in financial strain, families do have options for support.
From grants and benefits to budgeting and planning, there are all kinds of things families can do to manage financial pressure alongside a cancer diagnosis. Our Information & Support workers are here to share some important points:
Sara says: You could be entitled to financial assistance!
After a cancer diagnosis, you could be entitled to financial assistance or benefits from the Government, depending on your individual circumstances. Figuring out what you qualify for can be complex! Talk to your Support Worker, a benefits and welfare advisor, or your care provider for advice on your options. You can also speak to Citizen's Advice or find a lot of information online at the .Gov website.
The Mummy's Star Grant is one of many small grants, available from charities and grant-giving trusts, that are not means tested; meaning you don't need a certain level of income to qualify. We base eligibility on what the funds will be spent on and our list is long! It's worth looking into these smaller grants to help manage difficult periods, or to cover one off costs, such as transport to treatment or specialised clothing.
Amy says: Plans can take the pressure off!
Being a mum and a cancer patient is exhausting; treatments, appointments, scans, tests and periods of ill health all come in addition to the endless requirements of parenthood. Which makes it easy to put off thinking about finances or to prioritise other things that - let's face it - are more enjoyable to think about!
Making a simple budget and planning for any upcoming costs related to your cancer or your little one's development can help take the pressure off, making sure you've got the cash you need when you most need it and easing any worries around financial security. It can also highlight when or where there might be a need for extra financial support, so you've got plenty of time to seek it out.
Things will always pop up unexpectedly, but a financial plan will help you respond from a place of confidence and awareness. It will also prove a useful reference tool when you are applying for grants and benefits.
There are plenty of people out there who can help with this. Talk to your Information & Support Worker for local advice or visit the Macmillan Managing Your Money page.
Fiona says: Don't hold back!
We know it can feel awkward or even embarrassing to talk about money or to ask for financial support. A cancer diagnosis makes you feel vulnerable in so many ways and asking for financial support can feel like a step too far.
But I promise that by opening up and sharing your situation and any concerns with a trusted friend or care worker, you will be protecting yourself from unnecessary stress and ensuring you and your family are secure and provided for, throughout your treatment and beyond.
Don't let awkwardness hold you back from being fully supported when you most need it.
Whatever your situation, tell your Information and Support Worker or reach out to any of the services below. There are tools and support available for every situation, including grants and benefits, budget planners, and reductions on utilities.
Macmillan Welfare Advisor: Call 0800 808 00 00 or go online to www.macmillan.org.uk
Macmillan Benefits Advisors: at your local centre, find it here.
Citizens Advice Bureau: online at citizensadvice.org.uk
Your local Cancer Centre may have links to local services and support. Search '[Your town] Cancer Centre' online or ask your GP/Cancer Nurse.