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Topic Benefits advice

Read weekly blogs from benefits advisor Tom. Post questions, share experiences around financial support in the conversations, message Tom privately or book an online ‘live chat’ session.

  • 144 conversations

Help with Travel Expenses

Started by Anonymous on 13 July 2017 at 13:27
Edited on 13 July 2017 at 13:34

Hi everyone,

I am due to start 4 weeks of Radiotherapy and I will need to rely on public transport to get me there and back each day.

Is there any where I can get help towards the cost of travel?


Claire42 :)

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  • Picture of Tombenefits
    From Tombenefits  
    14 July 2017 at 15:03
    Edited on: 14 July 2017 at 15:09


    I'm Tom, the Online Centre's Benefits Advisor.

    Direct help with travel costs is available through the NHS Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme. Details for NHS England are here.

    The scheme is very similar in the other UK nations. There are some additional local provisions in far flung areas such as the Highlands and Islands or the Isle of Wight.

    Some hospitals also offer patient hostels for a relaxing all irradiating but no spa retreat :-) that cuts out both the time and hassle of daily travelling

    If you are already getting one of the "qualifying benefits" - i.e one where you will have already been through a financial assessment - then producing evidence of receipt of that benefit your appointment and the costs is all you need to collect a refund at the hospital. You can arrange to do that daily or e.g once a week as suits 

    If not, it will certainly be worth us checking on whether you might be entitled to one of those benefit, but in the meantime you can apply for a certificate to help with travel and other health costs (eg optical, dental) via the NHS Low Income Scheme .

    Your radiotherapy team will explain what name the office goes by in your hospital and whereabouts it is. 

    Normally, refunds are based on bus fares/ train fares or petrol money if kind people give you a lift. At first you may feel quite able to hop on a bus or drive yourself to get to the hospital for this strange new surreal daily commute :-)

    But as the treatment continues and the general flump of radiation side effects kick in,  you may need either to accept any lifts going or use taxis.

    You can get taxi fares, but you do need to pre-agree use of taxis if the zonkiness gets to that stage. 

    However, it may be that other income gets in the way of eligibility for these direct direct help with fares. The assessment will for example be jointly with any partner, so his/her income would come into it too.

    It would still be worth us having a private message/benefits session even then, to look at any other benefits you may be missing out on. By no means all are related to income, and of those that are, eligibility might go higher up the scale than you might think or the Health Travel Costs scheme allow.

    There may then be ways either of getting you onto benefits that would make you eligible for the travel costs or of accessing some other financial help that may help.

    Or sometimes doing both :-) Often people come into our Centres  asking about help with this not insignificant extra cost and end up with rather more than they bargained for :-)

    So do please feel free to message me by clicking on my name above this reply. 

    Best wishes,


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