Money Woes Biggest Concern For Cancer Patients
Cancer patients and their loved-ones are 25 times more likely to ask for help on financial issues rather than on death and dying, according to new figures from Macmillan Cancer Support’s helpline.
The majority (40%) of callers contacted the helpline in 2011 to seek financial information and support including welfare rights, compared to just under 2% who sought information and support about death and dying.
Calls to Macmillan Support Line about information, help and financial advice have increased by a staggering 30% in just one year. Worryingly, financial difficulties are set to get even worse for cancer patients. The Government is pressing ahead with plans to cut vital support by up to £94 a week for an estimated 7,000 cancer patients in the controversial Welfare Reform Bill.
Mike Hobday, Director of Policy and Research of Macmillan Cancer Support, says:
“During the biggest fight of their lives it is shocking that more and more cancer patients have to spend time seeking help about financial issues rather than focusing on their health and well-being.-While we recognise the benefits system is in need of reform, if the Welfare Reform Bill goes through unamended it will have a devastating effect on cancer patients who are already struggling.-We know many Lords oppose these proposals and hope they will show their support for cancer patients when it comes to a vote in Parliament.”
The Government’s Welfare Reform Bill proposals would see Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) for cancer patients and other disabled people cut after one year. Macmillan Cancer Support would like this amended to two years to give cancer patients more time to recover after treatment.