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Work and money

Being diagnosed with cancer can have an impact on your finances. For example, you may not be able to work, or can only work part time. A family member caring for you may also need to stop working, and you may have to pay for travel to treatment sessions.

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. There is lots of help available. Macmillan Cancer Support, Carers UK, Carers Trust and Citizens Advice can all give expert advice on work-related issues, benefits and financial matters.

These are some things that might help.

  • You and your family member may be able to claim for benefits, such as Carer's Allowance. Macmillan Cancer Support have an online Benefits Checker.
  • If you or your family member are working, speak to your employer about your options. For example, you have the right to request flexible working such as working fewer hours or working from home.
  • Prescriptions in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are free. In England, you can get free prescriptions if you are having treatment for cancer, or for symptoms and side effects. You will need to apply for a medical exemption certificate. Ask your GP, hospital or local pharmacy for a FP92A form. 
  • 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.
  • There is help available with the cost of travelling to hospital for treatment.

“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.”

Read about practical support available, such as help with travel to the hospital or equipment for your home.

Read about nursing support in the community if you are being cared for at home.

Read our information for family members caring for someone with pancreatic cancer, and the support available.

Updated September 2019

Review date September 2021

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