Comfort Fund

The Marie Keating Foundation hopes to lessen the financial burden associated with a cancer diagnosis and has been doing this through its comfort fund service since 2004.

Each year, a limited budget is allocated to the service.

Each application is assessed on an individual basis. It takes a minimum of 21 days to process an application and occasionally it may take longer.

Please check with your Medical Social Worker, as you and your family may be entitled to government support such as Illness Benefit, a Medical Card, Carer’s Allowance or housing support.

Please read this criteria before completing and submitting the online application form. An application that does not meet the criteria will be rejected.

 

What is the Comfort Fund Service?

It provides financial assistance to patients 18 years or older with a cancer diagnosis who are receiving treatment at the time the application is submitted and who find themselves in financial difficulty as a result. The fund is for patients living in the Republic of Ireland.

Patients under the age of 18 years and on active treatment for a cancer diagnosis can access the Irish Cancer Society ‘Children’s Fund’ for financial support.

 

The reasons for submitting an application may include the following:

  • Increased medical costs such as consultant fees and prescriptions
  • Additional expenses with travel to treatment and parking
  • Increased household utility bills and (such as household heating or electricity). Please note this does not include rent or mortgage payments.
  • Increased food or additional clothing costs
  • Increased costs due to extra child-minding services

An application to this Comfort Fund to cover additional expenses with travel cannot be submitted if:

  • A patient who meets the criteria of the Travel to Care scheme (T2C) and who has not had an application made to this scheme
  • Patient has already received a payment from the Travel to Care scheme (T2C) or is awaiting a decision
  • Patient is availing of free transport to treatment.

 

Advice for Health Care Professionals

An online application must be completed and signed by a Health Care Professional (HCP) on behalf of a patient. The HCP must be directly involved in the patient’s care.

Patient queries regarding an application must go directly through their HCP and not to the Marie Keating Foundation.

The patient must give his or her HCP consent to submit the application on their behalf. An application submitted by anyone other than a patient’s HCP will be rejected.

Three attempts will be made to contact a HCP regarding an application and if no response received, the application will be rejected.

The following criteria must be adhered to:

  • Only one application per patient will be considered. This is a ‘Once Off’ payment.
  • Demonstration that the patient is in financial distress as a result of a cancer diagnosis and is undergoing treatment at the time that the application is submitted.
  • The financial distress must be outlined in the application and verified by attaching an invoice/receipt/household utility account statement that is within the last 3 months. It must include details that link directly to the patient and it should match at least the amount being requested. If the amount requested is greater than the value of an attached invoice/receipt/household utility account statement the amount paid may only be equivalent to the value of the invoice/receipt/household utility account statement.
  • An application will not be processed and will be rejected if an eligible invoice/receipt/household utility account statement is not attached to support the application.
  • Bank statements and screen shots of amounts owed on accounts are not to be submitted as they will not be accepted.
  • Loan repayments (including mortgage) and rent statements are not to be submitted as they will not be accepted.
  • A patient or partner who is in full-time employment or in receipt of full income may not qualify. This is to ensure that those that most require financial assistance are prioritised.
  • If requiring financial assistance for Hair Replacement (Non-Surgical Scalp Product) please apply to the Government treatment benefit scheme.

 

The common errors and omissions that cause time delays in approving an application are as follows:

  • No receipts or invoices attached to support an application
  • Receipts or invoices that are not within the last 3 months, not directly linked to the patient and are not at least to the amount being requested
  • Illegible attachments
  • Insufficient information to support the application in the ‘Additional Section’
  • Incorrect Bank Account details

 

Click here to go to the Online Comfort Fund Application Form

For a full disclaimer of the security procedures in place to keep patients personal information safe, click here.

If you are a HCP and would like further information about the Comfort Fund Service, please email: [email protected] or call 01 628 3726