Understanding benefits

The costs that come with cancer can have a big hit on your finances. Benefits can take the pressure off during this time. If you're unable to work, you're self-employed, or you have had to reduce your hours to care for your child, it’s even more important to make sure you get the support you’re entitled to.

We know that the benefits system can be confusing. This section should give you a clearer understanding of which benefits and allowances could help you. The benefits system is designed to offer financial support to people who:

Benefits for people with a health condition or disability

These benefits are for people of all ages with health conditions or a disability, and their carers. Once your child is given a cancer diagnosis, they are classed as disabled and may be entitled to get certain benefits.

Some of these benefits will partially depend on your income and savings, so it’s worth speaking to a welfare adviser about what you may be entitled to. 

See our health related benefits page for more information on each of these.

Benefits for people on low incomes or looking for work

Also known as ‘means-tested’ benefits, what you are entitled to will depend on your income and savings. You may already know about some of these such as Jobseeker’s Allowance and Income Support. 

However, the system is currently changing. Six of the main benefits are gradually being replaced by a new single benefit called Universal Credit. 

Universal Credit is a monthly payment for people aged 16 to 64 who are looking for work or on a low income. Extra funds are available for people with a health condition or caring responsibilities.  

Get support if you are out of work or on a low income. 

Getting specific support

As well as these benefits, you can also access grants, concessions, payments and rights that could help with different aspects of your situation. Find out more about:

If you aren't eligible

If you have a residence permit that allows you to live in the UK, you may not be able to claim most benefits. The NRPF network has a free advice line on 0207 527 7121, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

Updated July 2017, next review due 2018.