Financial support and assistance
Dealing with cancer can present significant financial challenges. The side effects of cancer and its treatment are substantial and can affect everyday living. Financial support and assistance is therefore critical to the wellbeing of people living with cancer and their families.
Pancare’s PanSupport Financial Assistance Program
Pancare’s PanSupport program supports eligible individuals (e.g. patients, carers and families) experiencing financial difficulties who have been affected by a diagnosis of upper gastrointestinal (GI) cancer – including pancreatic, liver, stomach, biliary and oesophageal cancers.
Patients may choose services that will assist their needs from diagnosis, through treatment and beyond. The services also include complementary therapies where research has shown they have a positive impact on the symptoms patients living with cancer experience.
The types of funding assistance requested by patients and carers include financial support for but not limited to:
- accommodation costs
- medical equipment
- transport costs
- utility bills
- medical bills – for example scans/tests such as a PET scan
- car registration
- occupational therapy
- exercise therapy
- dietetics and nutrition
- counselling, meditation and relaxation
- art and music therapy
- physical activity, e.g. tai chi, yoga
Patients may choose services and supports that will assist their needs from diagnosis, through treatment and beyond. Pancare will refund the cost of service provided up to a capped amount.
To find out more about our Financial Assistance Program and how to apply, please contact the PanSupport Team via our online contact form.
Understanding available financial support for people living with cancer – view a recording of our Living Well Series Webinar
Living with or caring for someone with upper gastrointestinal cancer may often place unexpected financial strain on individuals and their families. In this webinar we explore the financial complexities and challenges that an upper gastrointestinal diagnosis may bring and provide practical information and support to manage the impact of these.
Mark O’Leary, experienced financial planner with KRA Wealth, and Rosie Bouton, financial advisor at WePlan share insight and knowledge gained from their many years in the industry, along with extensive pro bono work, providing financial guidance and support to those affected by cancer.
Throughout the session, Mark and Rosie share ways to:
- take away financial stress where possible so you can focus on your health, family and their ongoing needs
- access funds to assist in meeting financial obligations, including Government support payments, superannuation, life, disability and illness insurance
- protect your loved ones with effective estate planning such as Wills (guardianship) and Powers of Attorney
- have an open and honest conversation about taking care of the ‘now’ whilst focusing on the future.
PanSupport’s Living Well Series is an informative, online webinar series which seeks to enhance the daily health and wellbeing of patients and their carers, living with an upper GI cancer. To learn more about upcoming events in our Living Well Series please get in touch.
Other financial support resources
There are a number of external patient and carer financial assistance programs available for people diagnosed with cancer. Benefits, pensions and hardship programs can help pay for prescription medicines (for example the Australian Government’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), transport costs or utility bills.
You may also like to speak with your hospital social worker for services available in your local area and to find out whether you are eligible to receive them.
For additional income, you may be eligible to access your superannuation early in certain circumstances, or claim on insurance policies such as income protection, trauma, and total and permanent disability (TPD).
Cancer Council Australia
Cancer Councils in Australian states and territories offer a range of financial assistance programs that vary between states. One of these is the financial assistance grant, which can assist people affected by cancer with their living expenses. These are one off payments of $200 – $500, that are subject to each state’s own eligibility criteria.
Cancer Council also offer financial advice and can connect eligible patients to the following services:
- Financial Planner – to assist with debt management, retirement planning, Centrelink payments, superannuation and more
- Workplace advice service – to assist with the transition back to work during or after treatment
- Small business advice service – to assist with tax issues, appointing a caretaker
Find out if you are eligible at https://www.cancercouncil.com.au/get-support/pro-bono-program/