Financial support

A cancer diagnosis can bring with it financial uncertainty as there may be a prolonged absence or multiple absences from work, coupled with increased medical expenses. There are a number of supports to which people living with cancer are entitled to and it is important to be aware of all of these as you may be entitled to one or a number of them.

Sick benefit

If you are employed but cannot work because of your illness, you may be entitled to paid sick leave from your employer – this will depend on your contract of employment.

 If you are not entitled to sick pay from your employer, you can apply for Illness Benefit if you have enough social insurance (PRSI) contributions. Another option is Partial Capacity Benefit – see and Citizens Information for details.

Disability benefit

Some people with cancer are entitled to a Disability Allowance. This is a long-term social assistance payment for those aged 16-65 with a disability expected to last at least one year. See for details.

Medical Card and other schemes

A cancer diagnosis will likely mean increased visits to your GP and perhaps some additional medication. You may be entitled to a medical card or other schemes which would mean these costs are reduced. If you are not entitled to a medical card, you can apply for the  Long Term Illness Scheme, the Drug Payment Scheme, and/or a GP Visit Card.