- Cancer Information
- Practical concerns
- Cancer care and your rights
- Legal, financial and workplace concerns
- Financial issues
If you’re in financial stress, several options are available. A financial counsellor can help you to budget and work out a plan to manage your finances. To find a counsellor in your area, call 1800 007 007 or visit Financial Counselling Australia (FCA).
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If you are struggling with debts, such as your mortgage or credit card bills, talk to your credit provider about your financial situation and your options. These may include:
- extending the time you have to repay the debt
- reducing or pausing repayments for a short time
- changing to interest-only repayments for a specified period
- renegotiating your interest rate.
If you’re not satisfied with the response you receive, you can complain through the free external dispute resolution scheme run by the Australian Financial Complaints Authority.
If you’re having trouble paying your utility bills, such as electricity, gas, water, phone or internet, talk to your provider. They can help you find ways to avoid disconnection and penalty fees.
For more information about dealing with debt and other financial matters, visit the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s consumer website at moneysmart.gov.au.
For more on this, see our Dealing with debts fact sheet.
If cancer causes financial issues, talk to your superannuation fund about applying for an early release of your superannuation savings on the grounds of severe financial hardship. Before you decide to access your super early, get financial advice about how this will affect your retirement and find out whether there are any insurance policies attached to your superannuation account that you could claim on.
For more on this, see our Superannuation and cancer fact sheet.
Centrelink offers a range of payments that may be available to people with cancer, including Sickness Allowance, Mobility Allowance, and the Disability Support Pension. You may also be eligible for the Pensioner Concession Card or the Health Care Card, which can reduce your expenses. Centrelink benefits may be income and asset tested or have other eligibility requirements. Medicare also has reimbursement programs for people who need certain medical supplies, such as breast prostheses and continence aids. For more information and to check eligibility requirements, visit humanservices.gov.au or talk to your social worker.
Toni Ashmore, Cancer and Ambulatory Services, Canberra Health Services, ACT; Baker McKenzie, Pro Bono Legal Adviser, NSW; Marion Bamblett, Acting Nurse Unit Manager, Cancer Centre, South Metropolitan Health Service, Fiona Stanley Hospital, WA; David Briggs, Consumer; Naomi Catchpole, Social Worker, Metro South Health, Princess Alexandra Hospital, QLD; Tarishi Desai, Legal Research Officer, McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer, VIC; Kathryn Dwan, Manager, Policy and Research, Health Care Consumers Association, ACT; Hayley Jones, Manager, Treatment and Supportive Care, McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer, VIC; Victoria Lear, Cancer Care Coordinator, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, QLD; Deb Roffe, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Michelle Smerdon, National Pro Bono Manager, Cancer Council NSW.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.
Click below to download a PDF booklet on this topic.
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