Legal and financial assistance

Pro bono services

Victoria now offers four pro bono programs for clients experiencing financial hardship as the result of their cancer diagnosis, the Legal Referral Service, the Financial Planning Referral Service, the Workplace Advisory Service, and the Small Business Advice Service. The programs are delivered by professionals in the community who volunteer their time to assist clients who cannot afford to pay for advice. Cancer Council provides a service that matches clients to appropriate service providers.

Legal referral services

Having cancer can raise numerous legal issues that can be challenging and expensive to manage. We can connect you to free legal advice and assistance on a range of legal matters.*

The program focuses on:

  • End-of-life legal matters, including wills, powers of attorney and making parenting arrangements for terminally ill clients with children;
  • Legal matters relating to financial hardship, including early access to superannuation, insurance claims and disputes, mortgage hardship and other credit and debt issues;
  • Employment issues and other disputes, including discrimination and tenancy matters.

Legal assistance is available to patients, as well as carers and bereaved carers, where the legal issues are related to the patient’s cancer.

*This service is free for people who qualify via a means test. If you don’t qualify for free help, paid assistance is available.

For further information regarding your eligibility or access to the program please call Cancer Council on 13 11 20.

Health professionals can access referral forms here

Financial planning referral service

A couple meeting with a financial plannerIf you or someone in your family has cancer and you need financial advice, we can connect you with a financial planner in your area at no cost*.

Loss of wages and other mounting costs such as treatment, childcare and accommodation leave many patients in need of immediate funds after a cancer diagnosis.

The financial planner can help you with:

  • Centrelink payments
  • superannuation
  • insurance
  • debt management
  • budgeting
  • restructuring income and assets
  • estate planning
  • transition-to-retirement strategies.

This may be at their office, or at your hospital or home. If you speak a language other than English, we can arrange an interpreter for you.

*This service is free for people who qualify via a means test. If you don’t qualify for free help, paid assistance is available.

Health professionals can access referral forms here

Workplace advice service

This free program can help you to:

  • Manage workplace issues before, during and after treatment, including disclosing a diagnosis, managing expectations, coping with side effects at work, taking leave and managing discrimination, bullying and harassment
  • Transition back into the workface after a period off work for treatment, including reviewing CVs, role-playing interviews and connecting with recruitment services.

Health professionals can access referral forms here

Small business advice service

We provide patients and carers with access to free assistance to manage their small business after a cancer diagnosis. Qualified accountants can advise on tax issues, appointing a caretaker, business debts, sale of a business and assets, and other issues.

Health professionals can access referral forms here

How do I find out more?

Call us on 13 11 20 for more information. Please note: Cancer Council staff and volunteers don't provide financial advice to callers.

Financial help 

Financial assistance program

We can provide a small, one-off grant to people experiencing financial hardship following a cancer diagnosis, to cover everyday costs such as buying groceries or paying phone bills.

Cancer Council Victoria financial assistance grants are available to:

  • People with a medically verified cancer diagnosis requiring active or supportive treatment; and
  • Victorian residents; and
  • Are struggling financially and need financial assistance but are ineligible for alternative government relief schemes, or whose needs are unmet by those schemes.

These grants are to assist with living expenses when financial challenges arise due to their cancer experience and to help reduce the financial burden faced by people during their cancer experience.

Call 13 11 20 for more information. 

Health professionals can access referral forms here


Portable Document File (PDF)Dealing with debts (60kb)

Portable Document File (PDF)Help with bills (50kb)

Portable Document File (PDF)What happens to debts after death? (60kb) 

Portable Document File (PDF)Employment and cancer (64kb) 

Portable Document File (PDF)Superannuation and cancer (66kb)

Portable Document File (PDF)New insurance policies (50kb) 

Portable Document File (PDF)Patient transport (54kb)

Portable Document File (PDF)Travel Insurance and cancer (102kb) 

Order hard copies with our resources order form

More Victorian services offering financial help

Updated: 07 Jun, 2016