Cancer Council helps people affected by cancer to access free financial planning advice and financial counselling, where you would otherwise be unable to do so due to cost, illness or other barriers.
Cancer Council does not provide advice directly. We will connect you with a volunteer financial planner in the community who will provide advice and assistance. Usually, you will meet them at their office, however advice can also be provided via phone and email where needed. If you speak a language other than English, we can arrange a telephone interpreter for you.
Financial planners may be able to assist you with:
- Accessing superannuation and insurance
- Advice in relation to debt management
- Eligibility and accessing Centrelink payments
- Transitioning to retirement and managing lump sum payments.
Financial counsellors provide practical advice to help people managing their personal budget and finances. They work with community organisations that assist people in financial difficulty, especially those on low incomes. They will act as a negotiator and advocate for people who are at financial risk; and provide a free service to their clients (they are not allowed to charge fees or commissions).
Financial counsellors can help you with:
- Managing your budget
- Accessing Centrelink payments and other concessions
- Problems with managing debt
- Applying to changing mortgage payments while you are unable to work
- Information about consumer rights.
How do I access these services?
Call Cancer Counicl 13 11 20 Information and Support
Hours: Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm
Translator service available for languages other than English – Phone: 13 14 50
Or speak to a social worker at your treatment centre and they can refer you.
Do I have to pay?
Financial planning advice is provided by volunteer professionals and is free for people who cannot afford to pay for it. The Pro Bono team will ask a series of financial questions to determine whether you are eligible for free assistance.
If you don’t qualify for free assistance, we can put you in touch with a professional who can assist on a paid basis.
How a financial planner helped Lucy sort out her finances
After being diagnosed with breast cancer, Lucy stopped work to focus on treatment. She lost her income and became reliant on Centrelink.
Following surgery, Lucy needed to make some adjustments to her home. In addition, her reduced income meant that she was not able to cover the costs of her mortgage. While Lucy had managed to postpone some of her mortgage repayments, her bank was becoming more and more insistent on resolving the arrears. Lucy was also feeling extremely overwhelmed by her financial situation and it was causing significant additional stress at an already difficult time.
The financial planner obtained authority to speak to the bank on her behalf, and negotiated an extension in their hardship provisions. The financial planner was then able to help her access her superannuation and the total and permanent disability insurance attached to her super. As a result, Lucy managed to repay her home loan and make the necessary adjustments to her home. The financial planner also assisted with putting arrangements in place to ensure that she could continue to receive the Disability Support Pension from Centrelink which assisted with meeting day to day expenses.
The financial planner managed to lighten the load for Lucy at a particularly difficult time, allowing her to focus on her treatment.
Legal and financial issues booklets and fact sheets
Downloadable pdfs with information around common legal, financial and workplace issues for people affected by cancer.