Whatever your situation, January can often be a time to tighten your belt after the Christmas splurge. But if you’ve got prostate cancer, you may have a number of other practical and financial worries that add to the pressure. Here, our Health Information team answer your questions about the financial impact of prostate cancer.

20 Jan 2015
In - The Manual

I’ve had to stop work because of my prostate cancer. Is there any financial support available to me?

If you’re struggling with the financial costs of prostate cancer, or your income has changed since you were diagnosed, you may be able to get some help.

First of all, are you entitled to sick pay? Find out from your employers if statutory sick pay and occupational or company sick pay are relevant to you. Check your employment contract or contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau.

Depending on your situation, you may also be entitled to benefits. Because of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 the benefits system is changing but the organisations listed below should be able to give you the latest information about the help you can get. The benefits you’re entitled to will vary depending on whether you are working, how old you are and other factors. Find out more from:

Finally, grants from other charities or organisations may be available. Again, contact your local Citizen's Advice Bureau to find out more.

There are so many forms I don’t know where to start. Is there any help I can get?

Macmillan Cancer Support offers advice if you’ve got cancer and need help getting benefits and other types of financial support. Give them a call and they will talk to you about your own situation and see what solutions are available to you. They’ll also help you fill in claim forms, which can often seem like a daunting task.

It may also be worth contacting your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau or your local Social Security office. Or you might want to get in touch with an independent financial advisor.

The most up-to-date information about benefits and employment services is available at GOV.UK.

Can I get any help with transport and parking?

Yes, you might be able to. The Motability Scheme can help you lease or buy a car if you get certain benefits. Even if you don't drive yourself, you can apply for a car as a passenger and propose up to two other people as your drivers. You could also be eligible to get help to adapt a car you already have to make it more suitable for you. To find out more call Motability on 0845 456 4566.

If you use public transport you might get discounts and free travel. Contact your local council for more details. Find your local office in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

And if you’re having trouble walking, the Blue Badge Scheme helps people park closer to their destination. Contact your local council office for more details.

I’m self-employed. What financial support is available to me?

If you’re self-employed and have prostate cancer you may be worrying about your personal finances – especially if you are thinking of taking time off work. There are a lot of things to think about and Macmillan Cancer Support have some excellent information which covers all the basics – such as what benefits might be available. You can also speak to one of their cancer support specialists for information about your own situation.

I’m planning a holiday. Will my travel insurance be more expensive?

The amount you pay for travel insurance (the premium) is likely to be higher than if you had not been diagnosed with prostate cancer. The amount you have to pay when you make a claim (the excess) could also be higher. In general, prices go down the longer your cancer has been under control. This means that if you are currently having treatment (including watchful waiting and active surveillance), or if you have been treated recently, you may pay more. Travel insurance could be very expensive if you have advanced or recurrent cancer.

The cost of travel insurance and the kind of cover you get can vary quite a lot. It might cost less if you choose a policy that doesn't cover treatment related to your cancer. You might want to do this if you feel your cancer is unlikely to cause any problems while you are away – but this can be more risky. 

We suggest you shop around to get the best deal – read our factsheet on travel and prostate cancer for more detail.

What’s your experience?

Do you have any financial tips? Tell us below.

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