Critical Assist FAQs

Q: Who is Critical Assist aiming to support?

A: This service aims to support clients who are undertaking treatment for cancer and experiencing financial hardship and at risk of not participating in treatment.

Q:  What is financial hardship?

A: Clients facing financial hardship will be experiencing any of the following:

  • Low income (e.g. in receipt of  a Centrelink payment and/or have a health care card)
  • Loss of income (e.g. waiting for a Centrelink payment approval)
  • Struggling to meet living costs (e.g. food, rent, bills)
  • Limited support system (e.g. financial, family, social)

Q: What type of help is available through Critical Assist?

A: Clients who meet Critical Assist eligibility may be approved for:

Accommodation

  • Priority wait-listing for PTSS eligible clients at a Cancer Council Queensland Lodge where there is no availability
  • A financial contribution towards accommodation costs, where a Cancer Council Queensland Accommodation Facility is not available or suitable

Food Card

  • Financial assistance with a $200 Coles food card

Fuel Card

  • Financial assistance with a $200 Caltex fuel card

Telstra Bill Payment

  • Through the national Telstra Bill Assistance Program, payment of a Telstra home telephone bill, up to $500.

Q: If my client has finished treatment, are they eligible for Critical Assist?

A: Clients who have already completed their treatment are not eligible for Critical Assist. Ineligible clients referred to Critical Assist will receive information, support and referral to other Cancer Council services and external specialist services by calling 13 11 20.

Q: What if my client does not have email or does not want to receive a digital food or fuel card?

A: We have introduced digital food and fuel gift cards to Critical Assist which are sent by email to save or print. This allows the client to access the card immediately. However, we recognise this may not suit all clients. Other options are for a print-out of the digital card to be sent to the client or referrer by registered post (this will have a waiting period, and will need a signature on delivery).

Q: What if my client can’t open their digital card email or has deleted the email?

A: Please email our team at practicalsupport@cancerqld.org.au to request the digital card to be emailed again.

Q: Can I refer a client for assistance with their accommodation costs?

A: Eligible clients requiring support with these costs will be provided with:

  • Referral to a Cancer Council Queensland accommodation lodge, if eligible and suitable, and placement on a priority waiting list
  • Information on affordable accommodation options
  • Referral to specialist external agencies (hardship schemes, financial counselling)
  • Financial Assistance – subject to availability

Q: Can I refer a client for assistance with transport costs?

A: Eligible clients requiring support with these costs will be provided with:

  • Referral to a Cancer Council Queensland transport service if eligible and suitable
  • Information on affordable community transport options
  • Referral to specialist external agencies (hardship schemes, financial counselling)
  • Financial Assistance – subject to availability

Q: Can I refer a client for assistance with their car registration?

A: Critical Assist cannot offer payment of car registrations. However, eligible clients who need support with these costs will be provided with:

  • Information on Queensland Transport payment options
  • Referral to specialist external agencies (hardship schemes, financial counselling)
  • Financial Assistance – subject to availability

Q: Can I refer a client for assistance with their phone bill?

A: The scope of assistance available through Critical Assist does not cover household bills. However, we are an agent for the Telstra Bill Assistance Program (TBAP). This is a national program that is offered to Telstra account holders who are experiencing financial hardship and having trouble paying their Telstra bills. To learn more about referring your client to this program, please refer to the TBAP Referral Guidelines.

Q: What happens next after I submit my referral?

A: You will receive an email confirming the successful submission of your referral. You may be contacted by phone or email if further information is required. Approval will be subject to available funds. Clients who meet the target group as outlined in the guidelines will take priority. All referrers will be notified of the outcome by email within 7 business days. If you have an enquiry regarding your referral please email practicalsupport@cancerqld.org.au

Q: What if i have questions regarding the referral?

A: If you have any questions regarding your referral, please read the Frequently Asked Questions above, or email practicalsupport@cancerqld.org.au or phone 13 11 20