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Benefits Online

Being diagnosed with cancer is a difficult time, as well as coping with the treatment it can affect work, your income and increase costs. But there is a lot of help available. You may be able to receive a benefit to top up your income or cover extra costs or grants to help with one off expenses.

The benefits system in the UK is complex and can be confusing. The benefits you may be entitled to depends on your circumstances like your age, income and where you live. It's important to know your benefits rights, and find out who can help you to claim.

We’re here to help make it easier and support you through the process.

  • Use the Benefits Checker for a quick idea of which benefits you may be eligible for and how to claim. It takes around 1 minute.
  • Use the Benefits Calculator for a detailed look at which benefits you may be entitled to, how much and how to claim. It takes around 10 minutes.

You can also look at our commonly asked questions for some guidance and tips about benefits.


Read Venus' story

Venus, a teacher from Nottingham, was diagnosed with uterine cancer in 2010. While she was getting treatment, she wasn’t well enough to work, and money became a big worry.

Benefits Online is available 24/7; it’s another way for us to support you with your money and questions. You can also call us free* on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday to Friday, 9am–8pm) or visit a Macmillan benefit adviser in your area.

These tools are intended to be a quick outline to the types of benefits that may be available for you and help you understand the range of support available and plan your next steps, it is not intended to be a definitive list.    It is important that before applying you make sure you are not in an excluded group and get advice if you need it.  

An introduction to welfare benefits

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is in charge of welfare benefits for England, Scotland and Wales. The Social Security Agency (SSA) is in charge of these benefits in Northern Ireland.

There are different types of benefit:

  • Contribution-based benefits depend on whether you have paid national insurance (NI).
  • Non-contribution based benefits do not depend on whether you have paid NI.
  • Means-tested benefits depend on your income and savings.
  • Non-means-tested benefits can be contribution-based or not and don’t depend on your income or savings.

There is a benefit cap to the amount of benefits you can claim.  You may not be entitled to al benefits if you are a non-UK national.  

If you go into hospital, you should notify the DWP or SSA as it may affect your benefits. You can contact a welfare rights adviser for more information.