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Grants for people affected by terminal illness

There are many grants available for people living with a terminal illness, and their families. Unlike a loan, a grant doesn’t have to be repaid. They can help with anything from everyday household costs to making essential changes around the home. Some can even be used to take a holiday. 

On this page:

Finding the right grant

There are thousands of grants available across the UK, so you may need to look around for one that can help you. These sites are a good place to start:

  • Turn2us   has a  free search feature that you can use to track down grants available in your area. You can often apply directly from the site.
  • Disability Grants   is another handy source of local and national grants. It also lets you search by specific medical condition.
  • Your district nurse, doctor, social worker or other healthcare workers may also be able to help with finding grants. They may even apply for you in some situations.
  • The Guide to Grants for Individuals in Need is updated each year and has details for hundreds of grant giving trusts and charities around the UK. Your local library   may be able to help you find a copy.

Things to consider when applying for a grant

Lots of charities and organisations offer grants focused on their particular area and things like your location, professional background or type of illness could affect what you can apply for. Some charities will expect you to have applied for state or local council help first, so it can save time to make sure you’re receiving any entitlements before applying.

Part of this could be arranging for a care and support needs assessment. Your local Citizens Advice Bureau   may be able to offer you a benefits check to make sure that you’re getting all the benefits that you’re entitled to.

Some other things that can affect eligibility include:

  • type of illness
  • age
  • income
  • location
  • gender.

How to apply

Every charity and organisation has a different application process. Applying online is usually the easiest way but you may have to complete and send application forms or make phone calls.

If you don’t feel comfortable applying for a grant yourself, many charities will allow somebody looking after you or a family member to apply on your behalf. Healthcare workers, like your district nurse or social workers at Marie Curie Hospices, may also be able to apply for you.

How much will I get?

The size of grants can vary a lot between charities and sometimes the amount will be decided from things like how much you’ve saved, the size of your family or if you’re receiving benefits. This means payments can range from a small gift to larger amounts.

Some grants might not be means-tested (based on your income, savings or living situation), but it may help to check the eligibility information to be sure. In some cases a grant might come as credit on a bill or be handled by someone else like social services or your energy company.

Some grants to consider

Macmillan Cancer Support

Macmillan offers a one-off grant for people living with cancer. It can cover heating bills, clothing, adaptations, respite care or breaks and more. Visit the Macmillan website   for more details.

CLIC Sargent

As well as emotional and practical support, CLIC Sargent offers financial help to young people living with cancer and their families. The CLIC Sargent support page   explains how you can apply for grants and contact its information service.

Newby Trust

The Newby Trust  offers a single grant of up to £250 to individuals or families affected by many issues, including serious illness. It covers basic furniture, as well as items like fridges and cookers. The Trust doesn’t accept applications from individuals, so all applications need to be submitted online by one of the organisations listed on its website.

Warm Homes Discount Scheme

This is a credit given on your electricity bill by your energy company for heating costs. The scheme is supported by many large energy companies, although they each have different ways of deciding who qualifies. You can find out more at GOV.uk   in England, Scotland and Wales or visit nidirect   for information on energy grants in Northern Ireland.

Affordable Warmth Scheme (Northern Ireland)

If you live in Northern Ireland and you need help paying for energy efficiency improvements you may be eligible for the government’s Affordable Warmth Scheme  .

Other financial help

If you’d like more general financial information, visit the Citizens Advice website  , the Money Advice Service website  (England and Wales), Money Advice Scotland   or Debt Action NI   (Northern Ireland).

Useful links

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