Blood cancer can place an enormous strain on patients and their families and the last thing you need is to have to worry about how you're going to afford the next mortgage payment or how you're going to be able to support yourself financially during treatment.
Financial assistance and support is available but not everyone is sure how to access it or exactly what they're entitled to. Read on to find out more about some of the financial support, tips and services that other blood cancer patients and their families have found useful:
1. Check your life insurance policy
If you read the small print carefully enough many life insurance policies cover critical illnessness such as blood cancer. Whilst this isn't the case with all life insurance policies it's certainly worth checking and can result in a very welcome financial boost as was the case for Lisa Victoria Brown when her son was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia.
Karl Adams also mentioned the importance of checking your life policy after sadly discovering too late that he could have made a claim on his during the course of his treatment.
2. Get in touch with Macmillan & cancer services
A number of blood cancer charities and agencies are able to provide levels of financial assistance to patients and their families. When Colleen Bryce-Game got in touch with Macmillan she discovered that she was entitled to a £500 grant to help her with things like heating costs and petrol.
Such grants are not exclusive to the UK either with many charities and cancer agencies in the United States offering assistance to patients.
Lois Toppence wrote:
3. Claim any benefits that you're entitled to
Depending upon your individual circumstances you may be entitled to a number of government benefits such as disability living allowance or incapacity benefit which many stated that they had been unaware they were entitled to at the time.
Myeloma patient Karen Smith Cardwell wrote:
To find out more about benefits and financial support that you may be entitled to Macmillan's finance section on the website is an excellent starting point. It's also well worth getting in touch with your local Citizen's Advice Bureau to see if they can offer any further assistance.
4. Ask for hospital parking discounts
Hospital parking can cost a fortune both for patients and visitors especially when you're in for a long stay. However discount vouchers are, on occasion, available if you fit the criteria of the hospital as Hettie Maylam discoverd.
Other financial advice and tips to consider include:
- Talking to your employer about your condition and how they can help. Macmillan have a some excellent advice on this in the Work and Cancer section on their website.
- Getting in touch with your local Citizen's Advice Bureau
- Encouraging carers to seek information on assistance and support that they are entitled to