Coping with legal and financial changes

Dealing with cancer can present significant financial and sometimes legal challenges. Often even knowing where to seek information and support can be difficult. The Pro Bono Referral Service is available free of charge to eligible clients to help navigate through the maze of options available.

For more information please see below or you can download the Legal, financial or work issue?  brochure (available from our Publications page).

Legal assistance

Qualified lawyers from the Legal Referral Service can help you with

  • Drafting your will
  • Appointing a power of attorney
  • Early access to superannuation
  • Credit and debt issues
  • Mortgage hardship
  • Insurance claims and disputes
  • Employment and discrimination issues
  • Tenancy disputes

Financial planning

Qualified financial planners from the Financial Planning Referral Service can help you with

  • Applying for Centrelink benefits
  • Budgeting
  • Planning for retirement
  • Superannuation and insurance
  • Debt management

Cancer and the workplace

Cancer Council WA had developed a series of 6 workplace fact sheets to assist managers and human resource professionals to provide a supportive and fair work environment. These fact sheets provide information about cancer, treatment and side effects, and outline practical suggestions for workplaces.

Workplace Advisory service

This service links patients and carers with specialist human resources and recruitment professionals, who provide advice and support on workplace issues before and during treatment.

This free program can help you to:

  • Manage workplace issues before, during and after treatment 
  • Disclosing a diagnosis
  • Managing expectations
  • Coping with side effects at work
  •  Taking leave
  • Managing discrimination, bullying and harassment
  • Transition back into the workforce after a period off work for treatment 
  •  Reviewing CVs
  •  Role-playing interviews
  • Connecting with recruitment services

Small Business Advisory Service (Self-employment)

Self-employed people are often the hardest hit financially by a cancer diagnosis. In addition to difficulties accessing Centrelink, they often have limited or no superannuation, are under-insured, and are unlikely to have access to sick leave or equivalent payments.

Cancer Council WA refers to a pro bono program supporting small business owners and self-employed people affected by cancer, called the Small Business Advisory Service.

This service aims to provide free accounting assistance and small business advice for people affected by cancer. Accountants assist with everything from bookkeeping and Business Activity Statement (BAS) lodgement, to the management of business debts, appointing a temporary caretaker during treatment, and also longer-term succession planning.

For more information on Self-employment and Cancer, please see our Small Business Advisory Service page or call 13 11 20 and select 'speak to a nurse'.

How does it work?

The Cancer Council 13 11 20 Nurse will send a referral to the Pro Bono legal and financial service who will put you in contact with a lawyer.  You may visit them at their office, or if you are very unwell they may be able to visit you at hospital or home. If you speak a language other than English we can arrange an interpreter for you.

Who can we help?

Anyone affected by cancer who is a resident of Australia can apply. We will do our best to help you but we may not always be able to assist. You must pass a means test in order to qualify for free assistance. If you do not satisfy the means test you can still choose to have paid assistance. Your social worker or the Cancer Council 13 11 20 Nurse can help you find out if you are eligible and will let you know if there are services in your area.

How much does it cost?

For eligible clients, legal, financial planning and workplace assistance is provided at no cost. If you do not satisfy the means test, you can still choose to have paid assistance.

Need more information?

You may wish to download the following fact sheets, which provide information about common legal and financial issues.

Can you help us?

If you are a lawyer or financial planner and you would like to be part of the program please contact the National Pro Bono Case Manager, Laura Muir on 1300 852 295 or email

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