Money, legal and work issues
There may be times when people with cancer want advice about money or legal issues. Those who are working may also have questions about their employment and their rights.
It helps to know your options, and where to get support and advice.
Help with financial and legal issues
The Cancer Council has a range of information and services, including:
- booklets and fact sheets about legal and financial issues to download or print
- one-off emergency financial assistance for essentials and utility bills
- financial counselling assistance to help people manage their personal budget, financial concerns and deal with creditors
- a Pro Bono Program which connects people affected by cancer with volunteer professionals for legal, financial, workplace and small business support if they cannot afford to pay for it.
Some other organisations also provide financial and legal advice and assistance, for example:
- The Salvation Army has a free financial advice service.
- Can Assist provides support for people in country NSW.
- Redkite provides support for children or young people with cancer or their families.
- Electricity, gas, water and phone companies can sometimes help people with financial problems because of illness. See the Cancer Council assistance information sheet for more information.
The social work department at your cancer treatment centre can also provide information about emergency financial assistance. Ask your doctor or nurse to refer you to a social worker.
NOTE. Some financial support services are subject to means testing.
Compensation for people with mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure
People who develop mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure may be entitled to make a claim for compensation.
Making a claim is a specialised area and it is important to have the correct information:
- for claims that are related to workplace exposure in NSW, contact iCare Dust Diseases Care on 1800 550 027 or (02) 8223 6600
- for claims that are not work related, you can find an experienced asbestos litigation lawyer by contacting the law society in your state. The Law Society of NSW contact number is (02) 9926 0333.
Organisations that can help with this include:
- Asbestos Diseases Research Institute (ADRI)
- Asbestos Diseases Foundation of Australia (adfa)
- Cancer Council.
About work and cancer
There are lots of things that affect whether you can work while you have cancer, or when you will be able to return to work.
- the type of cancer you have
- where it is in your body
- the treatment you need
- the side effects you get
- the type of work you do.
You may have questions about what to tell your employer and colleagues, whether you can change jobs or the type of work you do, and what your rights are. Self-employed people may have other concerns.
Work can also be a concern for carers, especially if they need to take time off work to provide care.
The Cancer Council has a lot of information about work and cancer, for people with cancer, carers, employers and workplaces. Cancer Council's Pro Bono Program provides people affected by cancer with access to volunteer HR professionals or employment lawyers who provide advice around workplace rights and entitlements.