Financial support for brain tumour patients
The diagnosis of a brain tumour can potentially have a large impact on the financial status of a patient and their family.
Brain Tumour Research investigated this matter and found that the average household affected by a brain tumour will lose £14,783 per year as a result of a brain tumour diagnosis.
Brain Tumour Research also collaborated with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Brain Tumours (APPGBT) during their Inquiry into the economic consequences of a brain tumour.
Here are some sources of financial advice and support, as well as potential grant providers:
There are a number of of disability and other benefits that patients and carers may qualify to receive if they are a UK resident.
The Access to Work Scheme is also available to help brain tumour patients to stay in employment for as long as possible, for example by helping with transport costs if they lose their driving licence.
Citizens Advice has offices across the UK. Their services are designed to help you through the process of identifying and applying for all the relevant UK state benefits, and their website also provides an online benefits checker.
Macmillan Cancer Support
Macmillan Cancer Support offers small grants to help meet a wide range of practical needs arising from cancer such as new clothes, increased heating bills or even a short break. The average grant is around £380, although this may change from time to time. Every week, they give grants to over 700 people.
Macmillan grants application forms can be found here, or you can call the Macmillan Grants Team on 020 7840 7810.
Macmillan Cancer Support also offers online tools that help to identify UK state benefits that are applicable for each individual patient and their family: these include a Benefits Checker and a Benefits Calculator.
If you would rather talk to someone, they offer a telephone helpline on 0808 808 0000 (Monday to Friday, 9am–8pm) and a network of benefits advisors throughout the UK. You can discover if they have a benefits advisor and other support services in your area by entering your postcode on their website.
Other information on the Macmillan website that you may find useful includes information about help with costs related to health, bills and housing, travel and parking, and carers allowance.
Turn2us directly supports people in financial need through the Turn2us Elizabeth Finn Fund, Turn2us Response Fund and Turn2us Edinburgh Trust. All have different eligibility criteria, and some require you to apply with the support of a selected group of charities and not-for-profit organisations, based across the UK.
Turn2Us also provides an online UK benefits checker and extensive, searchable databases of grant funding bodies for patients and carers. Some grant funders focus on geographical areas, others on people who have had careers in the Armed Forces for example, but with over 120 different professions listed, there is a wide selection to explore. Not all of these grants are cancer specific, so some organisations may be particularly suitable for people who have had a benign brain tumour removed but, for example, suffer from financial hardship related to side effects from the treatment.
Family Fund is the UK’s largest charity providing grants and services for low-income families raising disabled or seriously ill children and young people. These grants are designed to help break down many of the barriers families face, improving their quality of life and easing the additional daily pressures.
They provide grants for a wide range of items, such as washing machines, sensory toys, family breaks, bedding, tablets, furniture, outdoor play equipment, clothing and computers.
CLIC Sargent offers grants for children and young people up to 24 years old, and specifically mentions children and young people aged 19 and under who have a brain tumour. There is a range of eligibility criteria, but these include help with travel costs for brain tumour patients travelling abroad for NHS approved proton beam therapy treatment. More information can be found here.
They also offer an online UK state benefits calculator and a benefits support service, including helping to liaise with young people’s employers and sort out housing issues to keep families together.
Learn more at Clic Sargent
Local Hospice Services
Hospices are not just for end of life care. They offer a wide range of support services for those who are living with both low-grade and high-grade brain tumours, and usually for their families too. This sometimes includes help with applying for financial support.
You can find hospices in your local area by using the Hospice UK online search tool, and then compare what support services each one offers.
British Gas Energy Trust
British Gas Energy Trust, incorporating the Scottish Gas Energy Trust, is an independent charitable Trust funded solely from donations from British Gas. The Trust helps families and individuals experiencing hardship who are struggling with gas and electricity debts by awarding grants to clear those debts. You do not need to be a customer of British Gas in order to apply via their online portal.
The Trust also funds organisations across England, Wales and Scotland to provide fuel debt and money advice services within communities, and provide a searchable database of these on their website.
Free days out and other special memory-making charities
There are a number of UK based charities offering free days out or small grants for specific items to create happy memories for those living with a brain tumour. We have listed them in separate categories on our web page here.
More useful links to Brain Tumour Support.