Legal, financial and workplace concerns

During or after cancer treatment, you may have concerns about insurance policies, financial issues and work. This section provides an introduction to these topics. For more information, see Cancer and your finances or call Cancer Council 13 11 20. You may also want to consider obtaining independent legal and financial advice about any issue covered here.

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Legal, financial and workplace support

Cancer Council’s Legal, Financial, Small Business and Workplace Referral Service may be able to help if you or someone in your family is affected by cancer, and you need financial, legal or workplace advice. We can connect you with professionals to assist you with credit and debt issues, insurance claims and disputes, early access to superannuation, managing workplace issues, and transitioning to retirement. Call 13 11 20 to find out what services are available in your area and whether you are eligible for this assistance.


You may have taken out personal insurance policies (e.g. income protection or total and permanent disability) before your diagnosis. You may also have insurance through your superannuation. It’s important to make a claim as soon as possible, because there may be time limits that apply. If you think you should be covered but your claim is denied, get in touch with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority. You can also call Cancer Council 13 11 20 to see whether we can connect you with a lawyer for assistance.

If you’re not making a claim, usually you do not need to inform the insurer about your cancer diagnosis until you renew your policy or change your level of cover. However, it is a good idea to check your insurance policy to see what it says about disclosing health issues.

If you’re taking out a new policy you are generally required to provide your medical history, including your cancer diagnosis. Insurance companies are allowed to refuse cover, but only on reasonable grounds. This does not include private health insurance – it is unlawful to be denied health insurance because of health issues, but there may be a waiting period before pre-existing conditions are covered.

For more on this, see our New insurance policies fact sheet.

Travel insurance

Getting travel insurance can be a major concern for people with cancer or who have had cancer. Insurance companies may view you as more of a risk. They may believe that you’re more likely to get sick and require treatment while you’re travelling, need to return home for treatment, or cancel your trip due to illness.

In general, you should be able to buy travel insurance for things that are not related to your cancer (like lost luggage and cancelled flights). It may be difficult to buy travel insurance that covers cancer-related medical problems, but you should be able to get coverage for non-cancer-related medical costs. If you have to disclose any pre-existing health conditions, be honest – a claim may be denied if you withhold information.

How to get travel insurance

  • Apply for a policy well before your departure
  • Shop around – the terms and conditions may vary
  • Ask your specialist or GP to write a detailed letter outlining your condition
  • If you are travelling overseas, check whether there is a reciprocal health care agreement between Australia and the country you are visiting that covers some of the costs of medical treatment. Visit and search for “reciprocal agreements”.
  • Some credit cards offer free travel insurance if you use the card to pay for some or all of the trip. Read the fine print.
  • If you are denied travel insurance, ask the insurer to provide reasons in writing.

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Click on the icon below to download a PDF booklet on cancer care and your rights.

Printed copies are available for free - Call 13 11 20 to order

Instructions for downloading and reading EPUB files

Apple devices

The iBooks application must be installed on your Apple device before you can read the EPUB.
Different ways to download an EPUB file to your Apple device:

  • email EPUB files to yourself and transfer the attachment to iBooks.
  • copy EPUB files into DropBox (or a similar service) and use the DropBox app to send them to iBooks.
  • open EPUB files directly from Mobile Safari and open them in iBooks, where they are saved automatically by downloading the EPUB from the website.

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To download an EPUB file to your Kobo from a Windows computer:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • select “Open folder to view files” to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

To download an EPUB to your Kobo from a Mac:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • open your “Finder” application.
  • select “Kobo eReader” from the listed devices to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, probably in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

Turn on your Kobo and your EPUB will be located in “eBooks”, while a PDF will be located in “Documents”.
Need more information? Visit:

Sony Reader

To download an EPUB file on your Sony Reader™:

  • ensure you have already installed the Reader™ Library for PC/Mac software
  • select the eBook you want from our website and click the link to download it.
  • connect the Reader™ to your computer.
  • open the Reader™ Library software and click “Library” in the left-hand pane and select the eBook to view it.

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Amazon Kindle 2nd Generation devices

EPUB files can’t be read on the Amazon Kindle™. However, like most eReaders, Kindle™ 2nd Generation devices are able to display PDFs. We recommend that you download the PDF version of this booklet if you would like to read it on a Kindle™.
To transfer a PDF to your Kindle™ via USB cable from your computer or Mac:

  • download the PDF directly onto your computer.
  • connect the USB cable to your computer’s USB port, and the micro USB end of the cable to your Kindle™. Note: the Kindle™ won’t be available as a reading device while it is connected to your computer until it has been disconnected.
  • open the Kindle™ drive and several folders will appear inside. The “Documents” folder is where you will need to copy or drag the PDF to.
  • safely eject your Kindle™ from your computer and unplug the USB cable. Your content will appear on the Home Screen.

Kindle also provides a Kindle Personal Documents Service that allows users to send documents as an attachment directly to your eReader. For more information on this service, visit
For more information on accessing a PDF on your Kindle™, visit, log in to your account and click on Personal Document Settings.
Need more help? Visit

Android and PC

You can also download and open eBooks on Android devices and PCs with appropriate apps or software installed. Suitable eReader apps for Android include Google Play Books, FBReader and Moon+ Reader. Suitable software for PCs include Calibre and Adobe Digital Editions.

This information was last reviewed in June 2019
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Support services

Coping with cancer?
Speak to a health professional or to someone who has been there, or find a support group or forum

Need legal and financial assistance?
Pro bono services, financial and legal assistance, and no interest loans

Looking for transport, accommodation or home help?
Practical advice and support during and after treatment

Cancer information

What is cancer?
How cancer starts and spreads

Dealing with the diagnosis
Common reactions to a cancer diagnosis and how to find hope

View our publications
Guides and fact sheets for people with cancer, their families and friends