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- Cancer, work and you
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- Self-employment and cancer
- Managing financial issues
Managing financial issues
For self-employed people who do not have paid leave, taking time off for cancer treatment may mean being without income for several weeks or months, which can be difficult.
Contact Cancer Council
Your local Cancer Council may be able to organise financial advice or assistance. Call 13 11 20 to find out what services are available in your local area.
Consult a financial or business adviser
An adviser can help you look at your financial situation and come up with some strategies to help you manage your finances. To find a business adviser in your area, visit business.gov.au/advisory-services/search. You can find a financial adviser through the Financial Advice Association Australia. You could also talk through your situation with your accountant if you have one.
Consult a financial counsellor
A financial counsellor can help if you experience financial hardship. Contact the National Debt Helpline (phone 1800 007 007) or the Rural Financial Counselling Service in your state or territory (phone 1800 686 175) for free, confidential and independent financial counselling.
Look into claiming on other insurance policies
You may hold relevant policies, such as income protection insurance, trauma insurance or key person insurance.
Check your superannuation
Although self-employed people are not required by law to contribute to a super fund, many people have retirement savings. Check if you have insurance linked to your super fund, such as disability benefits, as you may be eligible to make a claim. In some cases, insurance benefits may be cut if no contributions have been made in 12 or 18 months, so check your fund details. Check if your super fund provides free financial advice.
You may be eligible for benefits or pensions. There are different types of income support payments for people in financial hardship. Call 132 717 or visit servicesaustralia.gov.au. For information about the Farm Household Allowance, call the Farmer Assistance Hotline on 132 316 or visit servicesaustralia.gov.au.
I think if you’re going to choose any type of work to suit a cancer diagnosis, self-employment is it. You can tailor your schedule around treatment. I was used to managing my own time and I continued to do it when I was unwell.
Podcast: Coping with a cancer diagnosis
Brooke Russell, Principal Occupational Therapist, WA Cancer Occupational Therapy, WA; Bianca Alessi, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Dr Prunella Blinman, Medical Oncologist, Concord Cancer Centre, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, NSW; James Chirgwin, Physiotherapist, The Wesley Hospital, QLD; Danielle Curnoe, Consumer; Simon Gates, Barrister, Tasmanian Bar, TAS; Justin Hargreaves, Medical Oncology Nurse Practitioner, Bendigo Health Cancer Centre, VIC; Kaylene Jacques, Director, People and Communications, Cancer Council NSW; Alex Kelly, Senior People Attraction Advisor, Human Resources, Allianz Australia Insurance, NSW; Legal reviewer; Georgina Lohse, Social Worker, GV Health, VIC; Lesley McQuire, Consumer, Cancer Voices NSW.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.