Getting help and support with my brother or sister's cancer

Financial help

As well as the physical impact on your brother or sister, and the emotional burden on them and you, cancer often has a big financial impact on families.

On top of the treatment costs, there may be a big change in your family’s financial situation if one or both your parents can’t work. If you live in a rural or regional town the costs of travelling for treatment – including petrol, accommodation and eating out – can be very expensive.

There is all kinds of assistance available, it’s just a matter of knowing who and what to ask. In many families, mum, dad or another close, ‘older’ adult, like a grandparent or Aunt will help with these matters, but, sometimes, the responsibility may fall on you.

There’s no shame in applying for assistance – it is there for all people in your situation no matter what your family’s financial situation was like before your brother or sister was diagnosed.

The Australian government (through Centrelink) and other organisations provide assistance for people who have to stop work because of their cancer, or to care for someone with cancer. It’s worth checking out what’s available to your family.

Your family may also be able to get help with things like:

  • Rent assistance
  • Pharmaceutical allowance
  • Concessions cards
  • Parking vouchers at the hospital
  • Accommodation during treatment
  • Transport costs to and from the hospital.

If financial things have become a challenge, it’s important to know that there are these kinds of support services and allowances from the government. It can be difficult to work out if your family qualifies, or how to fill out applications.

To get more information talk to the social worker at your brother’s or sister’s hospital or see useful links.

If you'd like to talk to someone about support dealing with a brother or sister's cancer, call us on 1800 835 932.