New Benefits Advice Service launched
Posted on: 02/02/2016
A new benefits advice service has been launched for people in Bolton affected by cancer, who need advice and support.
The benefits adviser post will be part of the already established Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Service, which is available for people diagnosed with cancer, their families and carers within the catchment area of Bolton, as well as any Bolton resident who may require information about cancer.
The post will be provided by Bolton Council from its welfare benefits advice team, but will be funded by Macmillan Cancer Support, in association with NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group, Bolton Hospice and Bolton People Affected by Cancer group.
When you or someone close to you is affected by cancer, it can be tough on your finances. You may have to stop work, either for a short time or a longer period and it can be very confusing to understand what benefits you are entitled to.
People affected by cancer may be able to claim benefits to help them with their financial situation. They may also be able to get financial assistance from other organisations.
The Macmillan benefits adviser can assist people with checking they are receiving the correct income; help with applying for health related benefits; health costs, such as prescriptions and travel to hospital; accessing charitable grants; applying for housing and tax benefit; appealing for social security benefits and tax credits and issues with your benefit claims such as overpayments.
Jan a former cancer patient and a member of Bolton People Affected by Cancer Group said:
"There is nothing more worrying than how you are going to manage financially when you have been diagnosed and are struggling to come to terms with your illness. To know that there is someone who understands the difficulties you are facing, who is able to support you and go through everything you are entitled to at such a difficult time really is going to make a huge impact.
"At the time I was diagnosed, I had to seek the information I needed solely from the Macmillan website and found the uncertainty and wealth of information and form filling overwhelming and extremely stressful. However, to have a Macmillan Benefits Advisor available to Bolton residents who is able to deal with people on an individual basis is going to make such a difference. The advice and support on offer will significantly help to relieve the burden and worry at a time when the focus as a cancer patient needs to remain solely on treatment and individual needs."
Councillor Ebrahim Adia, Bolton Council Executive Member for Regeneration and Resources said:
“Being diagnosed with cancer can be an extremely frightening and stressful time. People often have to take time off work or stop work for the duration of their treatment and they worry how they will continue to support themselves and their families.
"We are pleased to be working in partnership with the Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Service to deliver a service that will hopefully help to alleviate that worry and stress at such an important time.”
For more information, please see our Benefits Advice page.