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The cost of living crisis and implications for cancer sufferers

The last few months have been some of the worst on record with millions across the country feeling at first hand the huge effects of the cost of living crisis. 

With increases in the costs of energy, housing, fuel and food, and inflation running at a 40 year high, many people have had to cut back on even essential spending in order to try to make ends meet.

Thousands of people with cancer hit by cost of living increases  

Data published by Macmillan Cancer Support identified hundreds of thousands of people living with cancer in the UK having to make decisions on household spending that put their health at risk - at a time where they are at their most vulnerable.

The charity found that one in four people with cancer in the UK were either buying less food or making fewer hot meals in an attempt to ease the spiralling cost of living - including 26 per cent of those currently having active medical treatment. Many more had to wear coats indoors, and wash their clothes less for fear of cripplingly high energy costs.

For people living with cancer, nutrition, warmth and hygiene is critical for them to improve their chances of recovery and to maintain quality of life. The rising cost of these bare essentials is compounded by the fact many cancer patients may be taking time off work to undergo treatment, or may have had to leave work completely due to their condition.

In response to the data collected, Macmillan Cancer Support has announced that it's investing an additional £3.5 million in funding its financial support scheme - Macmillan Grants.

Need for expert benefits advice

The current crisis also highlights the need of all cancer sufferers to ensure they have comprehensive advice from qualified expert benefits advisers. 

Government statistics recently released highlighted 850,000 families in the UK being entitled to Pension Credit who were not claiming. Indeed, in our experiences up and down the country advising clients with mesothelioma and other forms of occupational cancer, we frequently meet clients who are not receiving their full benefits entitlements and have not been receiving sufficient funds to live on even pre-diagnosis.

With seemingly no end to the current cost of living crisis in sight, it is more important than ever that full advice is obtained and at Irwin Mitchell, we are able to support and signpost those clients as part of our comprehensive legal service

Advice may not solve the enormous problems of the current crisis, but additional funds each week can clearly help cancer sufferers at a time when they need it most.

Find out more about Irwin Mitchell’s expertise in supporting people and their families diagnosed with mesothelioma and other diseases at our dedicated asbestos-related disease section.