Posted: Friday 29th September 2017
New Hertfordshire Macmillan Benefits Advice Service event celebrates over £1millon income boost for people affected by cancer in Herts
Today (29 September) marked Macmillan’s annual Biggest Coffee Morning with fundraising events and activities taking place all over the county to raise vital funds for Macmillan Cancer Support. Here at County Hall, we hosted a coffee morning with a difference as we heard about the development, successes and future plans of the Hertfordshire Macmillan Benefits Advice Service; a partnership between our Money Advice Unit and the charity, which began taking referrals in March 2017.
When someone receives a cancer diagnosis, money might not be the first thing that springs to mind. However, having cancer can be expensive, and 4 out of 5 people are worse off after a cancer diagnosis. Hertfordshire Macmillan Benefits Advice service provides specialist benefits advice for people affected by cancer and their carers at key pathway points: diagnosis, through treatment, palliative care and end of life.
They can help with claims for benefits like personal independence payment, attendance allowance, ESA and carer’s allowance and assist with challenging decisions, from mandatory reconsideration through to appeal. The advisers can also help with applying to Macmillan for grants for short term financial support for things such as emergency replacement white goods and utility bills, as well as with health costs like travelling to and from hospital.
The service now receives over 100 new referrals a month from social workers and our partners at NHS hospitals, hospices, Macmillan Information Support Centres, voluntary agencies and many others. Feedback from service users has been positive with 89% of people saying the service had contributed to their ability to cope with cost of cancer and 93% thought it helped them with understanding and making decisions.
If you or someone you know would like to talk to someone about the support available, please let us ‘Make Money One Less Worry’ and call the Macmillan Benefits Advice Service on 01438 843456 (9am-5pm Mondays-Fridays) or email email@example.com. Or you can see the team face to face at Lister Hospital in Stevenage, Watford General Hospital and Grove House (Rennie Grove Hospice Care) for St Albans Hospital.