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31 January 2011, 15:34 | Updated: 10 February 2011, 13:58
More than 120 people are getting help and advice from Macmillian CAB Welfare Benefits and Money Advice Service and it has gained in excess of £150,000 worth of benefits for clients in the county.
The service, which is a partnership project between Macmillan Cancer Support, Citizens Advice Bureau Service in Hertsmere and East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, started in April 2010.
The Macmillan CAB Welfare Benefits and Money Advice Service run an outreach service in both the Lister Hospital in Stevenage and the QEII hospital in Welwyn Garden City, where the launch took place.
Heather Day, is Chief Executive of the service, says: “Our clients come from all walks of life and are dealing with the effects of living with a cancer diagnosis. This service offers much needed advice and information to helps sort out any money problems and claim the benefits to which people are entitled.
“The benefits system can be extremely complicated – people don’t always know what they are entitled to or how to claim it. The team here helps people living with cancer find their way through this maze and ease their financial pressures.”
Macmillan Cancer Support regularly talks to people affected by cancer and what they tell us is that financial problems are second only to pain as a source of concern. There are over £90 million worth of disability benefits going unclaimed by cancer patients in the UK.
This lady, who didn't want to be named, was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and told Heart how useful the service has been: “When you find out that you have cancer, it’s a huge shock and it can be very frightening. Instead of money worries, you should be able to focus on your health and how you are going to get better.
“Thankfully my Macmillan nurse referred me to the service and I was able to get the financial help and information I needed.”
Sheila Murphy from Macmillan Cancer Support adds: “The Macmillan CAB Welfare Benefits and Money Advice Service will reach out into areas that traditionally have been overlooked – cancer affects people beyond diagnosis and treatment. It will make a real difference to cancer patients and their families in Hertfordshire.”
If you have questions about cancer, for support or information call free on 0808 808 00 00, Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm.
For information about the Macmillan CAB Welfare Benefits and Money Advice Service please visit www.hertsmerecab.org.uk or telephone the advice line on 0844 826 9703.