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Project information

Benefits advice for people living with cancer

Cancer is an expensive disease to have. In the shock of a cancer diagnosis, concerns over money can soon become a major anxiety for individuals and families. Maggie's Centres are a safe and accessible place for people to go with expert Benefits Advisers available to help.


Charity information: Maggie's Centres

Maggie's Centres logo
  • Need


    A diagnosis of cancer can have profound social and economic effects, leaving not just individuals but whole families vulnerable to rising costs and loss of income. The welfare benefits system is complex, and can be incredibly difficult for people to navigate, particularly those undergoing cancer treatment.

    The availability and accessibility of benefits advice is essential to ensure people living with cancer, many of whom are elderly and disabled, are able to secure benefits and grants.


    Our expert Welfare Benefits Advisers are able to ensure that people affected by cancer access the full range of entitlements to benefits and grants, as well as supporting them with other welfare rights issues.

    Our Benefits Advisers will not just give advice but will actively help people to fill in complex forms, navigate the complexities of the welfare benefits available and challenge decisions where appropriate. We secured over £16m in benefit entitlements and financial support in 2011.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Increase eligible person’s household income through a successful benefit claim or grant payment


    » Assess welfare benefits eligibility of people and assist in completion of benefits forms

    What success will look like

    Success will be...Maximise individuals and families' income to help them manage the increased costs associated with living with cancer

    Aim 2

    Provide advocacy to ensure the rights of people are not eroded


    » Make appeals, as appropriate, on behalf of people who have been denied benefit payment
    » Represent people on a range of issues such as housing and employment, providing specialist referral where appropriate

    What success will look like

    Success will be...ensure people are not denied eligible benefits and their welfare rights needs are met, enabling a better quality of life.

  • Impact


    By helping people manage their finances, we aim to remove a considerable source of stress and anxiety,enabling people to focus fully on cancer treatment and recovery. Regular feedback from people using our welfare benefits advice service suggests the support has significantly improved their quality of life. We are developing new pieces of research in Maggie's to understand and evidence the long-term impact of our work.


    Our benefits advisers are trained and experienced in their field, and are supported in ongoing professional development. They receive advanced communication training to support them in sensitively supporting vulnerable people living with cancer.


    We provide annual reports to our donors detailing the outcomes of our work as well as offering the opportunity for people to visit a Centre and meet our staff.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £81,420

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £81,420 Benefits Advice Provide benefits advice at a Maggie's Centre for the whole year
  • Background


    Maggie's currently has ten purpose-built Centres and two interim services across Scotland, England and Wales. Our Centres are conveniently and accessibly located in the grounds of cancer treatment hospitals. Our Centres blend visionary archiecture with warm, homely spaces, which inspire people to come in and feel comfortable seeking support.


    The key beneficiaries are people living with cancer, their families and friends. Maggie's supports people from the moment they ask for help, free of charge, and unconditionally, for as long as that help is needed. Two thirds of people visiting Maggie's in 2011 came seeking financial support, and we find benefits advice is useful at attracting men and people from low income backgrounds to visit our Centres. Many go on to participate in other Centre activities such as courses and support groups.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Maggie's have established a proud reputation for providing outstanding emotional, practical and social support to people living with cancer. We expect to receive over 100,000 visits in 2012 at our network of Centres. Our evaluations reveal that Maggie's helps people improve their understanding of cancer, improve their ability to manage stress, improve communication with family and friends and healthcare professionals and help them maximise their income.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Our Welfare Benefits Advisers

    Expertly and sensitively provide benefits advice to people at an incredibly vulnerable time of their lives.