- Cancer Information
- Practical concerns
- Cancer, work and you
- For workers
- 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
They can help you assess your financial situation and come up with strategies to manage your finances. To find a business adviser in your area, see business.gov.au/advisory-services/search. You can find a financial adviser through the Financial Planning Association of Australia or the Association of Financial Advisers. You could also talk with your accountant.
Consult a financial counsellor
A financial counsellor can help if you are experiencing financial hardship. Contact the National Debt Helpline (phone 1800 007 007) or the Rural Financial Counselling Service (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 fund
Although self-employed people are not required by law to contribute to a superannuation fund, many people have retirement savings. Check if you have any insurance policies linked to the fund, such as disability benefits, as you may be eligible to make a claim.
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 humanservices.gov.au. For information about the Farm Household Allowance, call the Farmer Assistance Hotline on 132 316 or visit humanservices.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.
Kerryann White, Manager, People and Culture, Cancer Council SA; Nicola Martin, Principal, McCabe Curwood, NSW; Jane Auchettl, Coordinator, Education and Training Programs, Cancer Council Victoria; Craig Brewer, Consumer; Alana Cochrane, Human Resources Business Partner, Greater Bank Newcastle, NSW; Shona Gates, Senior Social Worker, North West Cancer Centre, North West Regional Hospital, TAS; Dianne Head, Cancer Nurse Coordinator, Metastatic Breast Cancer, Crown Princess Mary Cancer Centre Westmead, NSW; Alex Kelly, Talent Acquisition Business Partner, Aon, NSW; Prof Bogda Koczwara AM, Senior Staff Specialist, Department of Medical Oncology, Flinders Medical Centre, SA; Sharyn McGowan, Occupational Therapist, Bendigo Health, VIC; Jeanne Potts, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Victoria; Michelle Smerdon, Legal and Financial Support Services Manager, Cancer Council NSW. We would also like to than the health professionals, consumers and editorial teams who have worked on previous editions of this title.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.
Click below to download a PDF booklet on this topic.