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Cancer patients’ lose £5.7m benefits over red tape, says Macmillan

PUBLISHED: 12:00 16 March 2010 | UPDATED: 15:42 05 October 2010

MORE than £5.7 million in disability benefits is going unclaimed by people diagnosed with terminal cancer in London. One-in-four are dying without having received Disability Living or Attendance allowances, according to Macmillan Cancer charity

By Mike Brooke

MORE than £5.7 million in disability benefits is going unclaimed by people diagnosed with terminal cancer in London.

One-in-four cancer patients are dying without having received Disability Living allowance or Attendance allowance which they are automatically entitled to, according to Macmillan Cancer Support charity.

“It’s a notoriously-complicated benefits system,” said Macmillan chief Ciarán Devane. “So we urge people to go online or speak to a benefits adviser.

“It’s tragic that cancer patients are struggling to make ends meet when there’s money available. Benefits can make a real difference to people who have to deal with money worries on top of having cancer.”

Low take-up is due to people not knowing they are eligible, the perceived stigma of claiming State benefits and the long and confusing claiming process, says a report today by the charity. The figure across the whole of Britain is a staggering £90 million.

Macmillan has begun an online programme to help cancer patients and carers find out what benefits they can claim. It also gives financial information on its a national freephone helpline, 0808-808 0000.


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