Financial support for cancer patients

DACC wish to inform people who are experiencing financial difficulty due to illness or other unexpected cases of family hardship of the following funding.

The Hardship Fund

The Irish Government through the Department of Health and the National Cancer Screening Programme allocate additional money to both the Irish Cancer Society and Local Health Boards for cases of hardship mainly through illness or once off payments in other unexpected cases of family hardship. In Donegal it would be the HSE West Health Board Office in Ballyboefy.

Application for hardship money/ funding is made through your Local Community Welfare Officer who visits local communities on a weekly basis.

If you phone the HSE West in Ballyboefy telephone 074 91 31391 they will be able to tell you who, when and where the Welfare Officer is for your area.

You then go along to him/ her and explain your situation. He/ she can help you with the process from there. They will most likely look for receipts etc.

Also below is information on how to access the Hardship Fund through the Irish Cancer Society including the new Transport Grant Scheme.    A DACC original aim- funding for cancer patients travel.

Irish Cancer Society  logo7travel2care

Irish Cancer Society / National Cancer Control Programme
Partnership Transport Grant Scheme

Financial Aid for Cancer  Patients
The Irish Cancer Society recognises that in  certain cases families find it difficult to cope financially due to a cancer  diagnosis. There may be special needs that the patient has specifically because  of their illness or as a result of treatment. Therefore, financial aid is  available from the Society to lend some assistance in specific hardship  circumstances.
The Irish Cancer Society’s Financial Aid  for Cancer Patients is a limited fund, where other non-charitable sources have  been already exhausted and are unable to help.
The Irish Cancer Society can only assist with current financial needs arising specifically from a cancer diagnosis and its  treatment.
The Irish Cancer Society is not in a position to cover costs that were not incurred by the cancer  diagnosis, such as rent, car maintenance, home improvements, etc. However,  where household income is reduced as a direct result of the cancer diagnosis,  then the Society may be able to give some support towards loss of  earnings.
The financial assistance is non-transferable.
The Financial Aid scheme will in most  cases consist of a once-off  payment.
Patients are eligible to apply for Financial Aid if  they:
1) Are an Irish citizen or live permanently in Ireland.
2) Have been diagnosed with cancer and are  in receipt of ongoing treatment.
3) Are personally unable to meet a specific financial burden that  arises exclusively out of a diagnosis or as a result of current  cancer treatment.
4) Have not qualified for or cannot avail of other schemes, such as additional social welfare support, Disability Allowance,  medical card, the St Vincent de Paul Society, other community groups as well  as the States Community Welfare Officers for the same  expenditure.

How to apply:
Applications may be made on behalf of  patients by healthcare  professionals working with patients and their families, specifically  social workers in oncology or palliative care. In the absence of a social  worker or other healthcare professionals, such a clinical nurse specialists,  oncology liaison nurses, public health nurses or doctors involved in the  patientâ?™s care may apply.
If the application is successful, the Irish Cancer Society  will send a cheque to the healthcare professional at the address given on this  form.
The application must be current, i.e. relating to current cancer diagnosis and  treatment.
Travel2Care - transportation assistance  fund
The National Cancer Strategy "A Strategy for Cancer Control in  Ireland “ published in 2006,  recommended that all major cancer treatment be delivered in eight designated  specialist cancer centres and approved satellite centre. The HSE's National  Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) has responsibility for the implementation of the  Strategy and this will involve overseeing the transfer of all major cancer  diagnostic and surgical treatments to the designated centres.

Some people who are referred to a designated cancer centre may need help with the costs of travelling to their  appointment(s). This is a fact recognised by the NCCP. As a result, the NCCP has agreed  to fund a Travel2Care scheme that is managedseparately by the Irish Cancer  Society on behalf of the NCCP.
The aim of the  scheme is to help patients with some travel  costs if they have genuine  financial hardship or need due to travelling to a  designated cancer centre or satellite centre. Travel2Care will  provide some financial help towards the costs of public transport such as trains or buses,  private transport costs; or petrol and parking.

Patients are eligible to apply for Travel2Care  if they:
1) Are an Irish citizen or live permanently in Ireland.
2) Are travelling for assessment, diagnosis and / or surgery / treatment  at a designated centre or approved satellite centre. It also covers  travel to a regional hospital for treatment
 3) Have not qualified for  or cannot avail of other schemes, such as transportfunded by the HSE, or voluntary  transport initiatives.
 4) Have a genuine financial difficulty in  meeting the costs of travelling to their  appointment(s)
How  to apply:
 Applications for  Travel2Care Ongoing Treatment are made on behalf of the patient by a healthcare professional, such as oncology social workers, clinical nurse  specialists, oncology liaison nurses, hospital doctors, and general  practitioners involved in the patientâ?™s  care.
Patient is also  required to sign this form.
If  the application is successful, the Irish Cancer Society will send a cheque to  the patient at the address given on this form.
 Completed  application forms should be returned to Travel2Care, Irish Cancer Society,  43â?“45 Northumberland  Road, Dublin 4.Tel: 01-2316619. Incomplete,  faxed or photocopied forms will not be accepted.
Application must be  current, i.e. relating to hospital appointments at  present.
If you have any  queries in filling out the form please contactTravel2Care, Tel: 01-2316619 for  assistance.

Accommodation  assistance
If patients need to stay  near the designated cancer centre before or after their appointment, due to their medical condition, they may be  eligible for some assistance from Travel2Care. This  isbased on a limit of €50 per person per night. Their reason for  accommodation must be confirmed by a healthcare  professional.

 We would also encourage people to call our National Cancer Helpline  Freefone 1800 200 700 (open Monday to Thursday 9am to 7pm and Fridays 9am to 5pm). A person can speak to  specialist cancer care nurse in confidence and discuss any concerns or  queries they may have about  treatment and care, or financial difficulties and  worries. We also have information on cancer support centres/groups and  resources in  people's area.
It is also possible to email our nurses on or chat  on-line to a nurse on


Marie Keating Foundation logo

The Marie Keating Foundation Comfort Fund

Please click on this link for more info on their work

The Marie Keating Foundation operates a Comfort fund for patients who are experiencing financial difficulty during treatment. The fund covers all cancers. The fund is administered and accessed through the Irish Breast Care Nurses Association and senior Social Workers at each hospital.  All applications are submitted to the Foundation through both these groups and applicants must fulfil certain criteria. Patients should talk to either their Breast Care Nurse or Senior Social Worker for further advice. Each contribution is based on each individual case and is a one-off payment.  It is intended that the fund will help to alleviate difficulty with transport costs, additional childcare charges directly related to the treatment period.  All money for the Comfort fund is raised by the Foundation who rely on public fundraising for all of its work.

                                     The Foundation receives no government assistance for any of its work

[Donegal Action for Cancer Care] [About  DACC] [Overview of DACC] [Overview of Some of Ongoing Work] [Some more letters] [Overview of some  questions] [Financial support for cancer patients] [Cancer Related Sites] [Letterkenny General Hospital] [Annual Report 09] [Just for you!]