Help with housing costs

There is financial help available for various housing costs for those who have cancer.

  • Housing benefit
  • Rates relief including lone pensioner allowance and disabled persons allowance
  • Discretionary house payments
  • Adaptions

For more information visit the financial help section on the NI Direct website.

Macmillan financial guide

If you have a mortgage or a pension it may be helpful to contact a financial advisor. Financial advisors can assess your individual situation and recommend the best course of action.

To speak to a Macmillan financial guide call free on 0808 808 00 00 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm)


While undergoing or recovering from treatment, many people with cancer find they feel the cold more and are at home for longer periods of time.

Help is available to improve the heating systems and insulation in your home through the Environmental Health department of your local council.

UK-wide payments

When weather has been particularly cold (temperatures of 0 degrees or lower for seven consecutive days), the government will automatically make a weekly payment of £25 to people who receive certain benefits.  Cold Weather Payments will automatically be made on top of your usual benefits.

Winter Fuel Payment

Winter Fuel Payment is a government scheme to help older people keep warm during winter.  A yearly payment is made to both men and women who have reached state pension age.  The amount you receive depends on your individual circumstances, such as whether you live with another qualifying person and how old they are.

Visit the NI Direct website to find out more about these payments.

Discretionary support

In extreme cases, if you do not have enough money to meet your (or your family’s) immediate short-terms need, you can apply for discretionary support from the government.  You may need to pay this back, but you will not be charged any interest.

To apply call 0800 587 2750 (Monday to Friday 8am – 6pm)


Speaking to your energy supplier

In Northern Ireland, there are a limited number of energy companies so changing suppliers may not be possible. The Consumer Council for Northern Ireland has information about dealing with fuel bills. You can contact the Consumer Council on 028 9025 1600 or by visiting the Consumer Council website.

If you are having trouble paying your bills or are worried about getting into debt, you should contact your energy supplier as soon as possible.

If you are living with cancer, you should let your supplier know and they should then place you on the Priority Service Register, which gives you access to free extra services from your supplier.  It also ensures your energy will not be cut off if you fall behind on your payments.

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