‘Relatives of deceased patients can still apply’ – cancer charity offers more advice on winter fuel payment

Charity Cancer Choices has offered further advice on applying for the winter fuel payment scheme by encouraging relatives of deceased patients to apply for the allowance.

The Dungannon-based charity has received numerous calls since it highlighted serious confusion and a lack of information available to cancer patients surrounding the one-off heating payment.

Deceased cancer patients who would have met the qualifying criteria and who were still alive during the qualifying period of between December 12 and December 182011, are still entitled to this payment.

The next of kin, appointed person or nominated family member must contact their deceased relative’s GP to obtain a consent form to receive the payment.

While GPs were delegated the responsibility for contacting cancer patients who meet the qualifying criteria for entitlement to the Winter Fuel Payment, they were not under any obligation to do so.

Madeleine Mulgrew, CEO of Cancer Choices, said:  “We feel that many people may miss out on this payment such has been the confusion surrounding the application process.  Cancer Choices advises members of the public that if you are a cancer patient and believe you meet the qualifying criteria for the Winter Fuel Payment and have not as yet heard from or been contacted by your GP – please contact your GP  immediately.”

To qualify for the payment, people must be registered with a GP and resident in Northern Ireland, which includes those in residential, nursing and hospice care. There is no age limit on entitlement and the fuel payment applies to adults and children alike.

Eligible patients are:

  • people who have received surgery for cancer within the qualifying period – June 13, 2011 to December 18, 2011
  • people who have received radiotherapy, chemotherapy or palliative care for cancer within the qualifying period
  • people for whom a decision is made, during the qualifying week of  December 12 to 18, 2011, to provide treatment for cancer in the form of surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy or palliative care

For further information, call Cancer Choices on 028 8772 9850 or visit the centre at Kylemore Cottage, 29 Carland Road, Dungannon, BT 71 4 AA.


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