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

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