Helping with money problems after a cancer diagnosis

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The added problems caused by cancer

A GP assured Matt that the pain in his arm and shoulder was ‘nothing serious’. Several months later he received a cancer diagnosis. At the same time, Matt and his fiance, Amy, became aware that Amy was expecting a baby. They would need help with the resulting financial consequences.

The devastating diagnosis upended their plan to be married and buy their first home. Instead, Amy, Matt and Amy’s daughter Scarlett embarked on a very different and difficult new path.

Matt’s condition prevented him from working and his savings for a housing deposit had to be spent on cancer care. His diagnosis also made it hard to get a mortgage.

The family was concerned about how Amy, Scarlett and the baby would manage once Matt was gone. So, they asked for help with the combined matters of benefits and their future financial situation.

Shortly after the couple married, Matt succumbed to cancer, leaving a widow, a daughter, and a tiny baby behind.

Helping with their money problems

Before Covid-19 restrictions, Matt, Amy and Scarlett met with Karen. Karen runs our specialist team that helps people suffering from chronic or life-limiting conditions. Together they worked out a plan for how the family’s finances would change as Matt’s condition developed.

Then, we helped Matt to claim all the benefits he could get and gave the family remote support whenever they needed it, throughout lockdowns.

After Matt died, we kept our promise to him and continued to help his family. We were there to listen and helped Amy onto benefits in her name. We also help her claim bereavement benefits and a funeral grant.

During this time, Amy applied for Universal Credit. Her anguish was compounded by an online form that did not cater to those who were recently bereaved. The form forced her to identify as ‘single’, rather than ‘widowed’.

We reported this social policy issue to the DWP who are looking into it.

We continue to offer Amy and the children our support in whatever way we can.

Click here to contact our Macmillan Welfare Benefits Team to get help with this and similar life-altering conditions. The team is funded by Macmillan Cancer Support and Dorothy House.

What difference did we make?

Facing a cancer diagnosis is an overwhelming challenge in itself, before undergoing chemotherapy or surgery. Frustrating benefits claims, concerns of future finances, and caring for a newborn creates increases the worry.

We reduced Matt and Amys’ financial worries so they could focus on the time they had together. We’re keeping our promise to Matt to help his family now that he’s moved on.

You can visit Macmillan to find out about further support that they provide.

Published in
23 November 2021
Last Updated
25 August 2023