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Work and money

Financial issues may not have been the first things you thought about when you were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. But having cancer can have an unexpected impact on your finances. For example, you may not be able to work, or can only work part time, so money may become an issue, even if this is only temporary. And if your partner is caring for you and has to stop work, or you need to pay for travel to treatment sessions, or need a special diet, it can affect the household budget. 

Dealing with your financial situation is important so that it doesn’t become something you worry about. If you can, try to sort things out before they become a problem.

  • Your diagnosis will affect your ability to work, even if only while you have treatment. Talk to your employer about sick leave, reducing your hours or working from home.
  • Not working can lead to financial problems. Get advice about any financial help that’s available, including any benefits you might be entitled to.
  • You and your partner may be able to claim for benefits such as Carer's Allowance, which is the main benefit for carers.
  • Read more about the help available for the cost of travelling if you have cancer.
  • Prescriptions in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are free. In England, the person you are caring for is entitled to free prescriptions if they are having treatment for cancer, including symptoms or side effects. They will need to apply for a medical exemption certificate – ask your doctor for a FP92A form, which they will need to sign.
  • You may be able to apply for a grant from a charity or fund, for example to help with bills, or buy equipment. The Elizabeth Coteman Fund provides grants to people with pancreatic cancer and their families.

There is lots of help available. Macmillan Cancer SupportCitizens AdviceCarers UKCarers Trust and Turn2Us can all give expert information and advice on work-related issues, benefits and financial matters.

“Money was a very big worry for my dad. One call to a Macmillan benefits adviser helped sort things out for him. It’s no longer a worry.”

“I was informed about benefits (such as emergency benefits for terminal cancer patients) by the specialist nurse from the hospice, but was not informed about wheelchairs or Blue Badges, both of which would have been so helpful.”

Published June 2017

To be reviewed June 2019

Information Standard