Coping with the financial impacts

Coping with the financial impacts of cancer can be difficult. Your income may reduce if you have to stop working or if you have run out of leave. Transport, accommodation, and some treatment costs can add extra financial strain.

Financial stress can affect your relationships, and for some people, it can lead to depression or anxiety.

Cancer is stressful enough without having to worry about how to make ends meet. There are some things you can do to help.

• Take action early. Approach your bank or mortgage provider to see if there is anything they can do, such as provide you with a mortgage holiday or manage your loans differently.

• Talk to your treatment team about the National Travel Assistance Scheme if you need to travel long distances for treatment.

Information on the scheme is available through the Ministry of Health website.

• Contact a local financial mentoring service (budget advisor) that can help you. The directory of family budgeting services is a good place to start. www.familyservices.govt.nz/directory

• Your local Citizens Advice Bureau is another place that can provide advice and support.

• Talk to the social worker who is part of your cancer treatment team.

• Talk to others such as family/whānau, a friend or your GP, or ring the Cancer Information Helpline 0800 CANCER (226 237).

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