A Macmillian cancer expert is giving advice on how cancer patients can survive the financial impact of dealing with both cancer and coronavirus.

It has recently been reported that UK jobcentres have seen a rise of 126% in claimants since the start of lockdown and job vacancies are at a record low.

A spokesperson for Macmillan Cancer Support said: "People living with cancer are not only facing the effects of the declining economy, but may also fall victim to financial struggles as a result of their diagnosis.

"When people think of Macmillan, they often think of Macmillan nurses. However, the cancer charity funds and supports not only nurses, but a wide range of health and social care professionals, including welfare benefits advisors.

"It may not be the first thing you think about but being diagnosed with cancer can be tough on your finances.

"Macmillan’s research shows that four out of five people feel the financial impact of cancer and are, on average, £570 worse off a month as a result of their diagnosis.

"You may earn less if you need to stop working or reduce your hours. You may spend more on everyday costs like heating and travelling to hospital.

"That’s why Macmillan has funded benefits advisors in Worcestershire, to give people living with cancer the support and guidance they need to make money one less worry. "

With unemployment rates predicted to rise over the coming months, along with delayed cancer diagnoses, Macmillan Welfare Benefits Advisor, Andrew Nye, who gives benefits and grants advice and assistance at Worcestershire Macmillan Citizens Advice is offering tips on how people can manage.

Mr Nye said: "The double-blow of an NHS cancer crisis and the deepest economic recession in decades is making it more difficult than ever for people living with cancer to face the cost of cancer.

"My advice for those affected by the financial impact of cancer would be:

• Check your entitlement to benefits - some people think they won’t be eligible for any help due to their age or savings or income – it isn’t always true! If you would like to check your entitlement, please speak to us at Worcestershire Macmillan Citizens Advice.

• Apply for a Macmillan Grant – Macmillan offers small cash grants to help with costs caused by cancer, such as increased heating bills, new clothing, and travel costs to and from treatment. There are eligibility criteria for the grants, so speak to us for help making an application.

• Concessionary hospital parking – if you are visiting the hospital frequently for appointments or treatment, speak to the staff or the Macmillan Information Centre about ‘concessionary parking’, which will cap the cost of a ticket to £1."

If a cancer diagnosis has had an impact on your finances, you can contact the Macmillan Benefits Advice Service in Worcestershire on 01905 725946 or email macmillan@citaworcester.org.uk.