Supporting someone with bowel cancer can affect your finances. You might earn less money if you or your loved one has to take time out of work. You might have additional costs such as heating and transport to and from hospital.
You may be eligible for benefits, allowances, or grants to help you manage if you're worried about money. We've put together information about some of the help available.
Am I a carer?
If you're supporting a loved one, you might not think of yourself as a carer. A carer is someone that regularly looks after a person who is ill, elderly or has a disability. This includes supporting someone with bowel cancer. A carer may provide practical or emotional support or both.
It can be useful to recognise yourself as a carer to access further help and support, including financial support.
Carer's Allowance is a weekly or monthly payment from the Government. It's not means tested. You may be entitled to it if you care for someone for at least 35 hours a week and they get certain benefits. The application process is the same for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. You'll need to check if you're eligible and then complete an application for Carer's Allowance.
Carer's Allowance Supplement in Scotland
People in Scotland who receive Carer's Allowance also get Carer's Allowance Supplement. This is a temporary payment which will be replaced by a new benefit for carers in Scotland. If you already receive Carer's Allowance and live in Scotland you'll automatically receive Carer's Allowance Supplement.
You may be entitled to Carer's Credit if you care for someone for at least 20 hours a week and aren't getting any other benefits. It protects your state pension. Find out more.
Council Tax Discount
Some people are eligible for a discount or exemption on their Council Tax bill. If you're a carer and the person you care for gets certain benefits, you might be eligible. The discount may vary between local authorities. For more information, ask your local authority about Council Tax discounts.
You may be entitled to benefits based on your income. You can get a benefits check by a specialist advisor to find out. You might be able to claim extra amounts within other benefits you already receive such as universal credit, pension credit and income support. If your income or situation changes, you can get another benefits check to make sure you're getting all the support available to you.
For more information about benefits or how to apply for them you can talk to:
This is a one off payment to help with extra costs that come with living with cancer such as energy bills, travel to and from hospital appointments and home adaptations. To see if you're eligible, visit Macmillan's website or call them on 0808 808 0000.
If you're caring for someone who's receiving palliative care, you might be able to receive financial support to cover your energy bills. Marie Curie can give you expert information on things like supplier-specific support, grants and energy efficiency updates. To find out more, call the Marie Curie helpline on 0800 090 2309 and ask to speak to an Energy Support Officer.
CarerSmart from the Carers Trust provides discounts, offers and other great benefits to carers. These include discounts on holidays and travel, cash back on shopping, free legal advice services and much more. You can register with CarerSmart for free at carers.org.
A carer's assessment lets your local council or Trust know what your caring responsibilities are and how you're coping with them. Taking the assessment can find out what extra support and advice you can have to help make your life easier. This can include things like help with caring and housework and connecting you with local support groups. The support available may vary depending on where you live. For more information, see the NHS information on carer's assessments.
How do I get a carer's assessment?
You can usually get a carer's assessment through your local council or through adult social care services. This can be different depending on where you live.
- You can find more information about carer's assessments in England on the NHS website
- In Scotland, a carer's assessment (for adults) is called an Adult Carer Support Plan. Find out more about the Adult Carer Support plan
- In Wales, a carer’s assessment is called a carer’s needs assessment. Find out more about the carer's needs assessment
- Find out more about carer's assessments in Northern Ireland
Carers UK has lots of information about the assessment process and how to apply in each nation.
For more information and advice about benefits, allowances, or grants for family, friends and carers, visit the websites below: