LAGAN Valley DUP MLA, Paul Givan and local Councillor Paul Stewart have welcomed an announcement by Health Minister, Edwin Poots which states that eligible cancer patients in Northern Ireland will receive a £100 winter fuel allowance.
Mr Givan said, “I welcome the recent announcement regarding the winter fuel allowance for many patients suffering from cancer. Due to the physical impact and financial circumstances of many cancer patients, many bills have become more difficult to pay.
“This measure will undoubtedly ease the burden for these individuals and will assist with the payment of oil and gas during the winter. Any cancer patient who is eligible for the £100 allowance will receive a simple form which should be posted out by their GP.’
Councillor Stewart added, ‘I believe this measure taken by the Minister is a positive one. Unfortunately cancer affects many local communities and there are many people locally who will be entitled to receive this allowance.
“I would therefore encourage them to complete the short form and return it to the stated address as soon as possible in order to receive payment.’
Eligible patients are; People who have received surgery for cancer within the qualifying period 13 June 2011 to 18 December 2011; People who have received radiotherapy, chemotherapy or palliative care for cancer within the qualifying period13 June 2011 to 18 December 2011; or people for whom a decision is made, during the qualifying week of 12 to 18 December 2011, to provide treatment for cancer in the form of surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy or palliative care.
From 6 February a free helpline will be active to deal with queries. The helpline number is 028 90 321313.