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Due to the ongoing nature of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Australia, Cancer Council SA are following the Department of Health Guidelines and have implemented measures and precautions to ensure the health and wellbeing of our staff, volunteers and people that we support. Given this, the Practical Support Program has been suspended until further notice. Please continue to check this website for updates on when the program will recommence.

The Practical Support Program provides short-term practical relief for individuals under the age of 65yrs with cancer where treatment for cancer is having a significant impact on the functioning of the family, or the person’s capacity to remain independent at home.

The program delivers a maximum value of $500 of basic practical services per person. However, a further application for assistance can be submitted for an individual after two years if they are having ongoing treatment or have a recurrence of their disease.

For patients over the age of 65yrs, we would suggest accessing government funded services through My Aged Care.

Services covered through the Practical Support Program include:

Domestic assistance (home help)

  • house cleaning (dusting, vacuuming/mopping of floors, cleaning of bathroom/toilet areas)
  • laundry (washing, hanging up/bringing in laundry, ironing)
  • changing of bed linen
  • cleaning of kitchen area and surrounds including refrigerators and wipe down of benches/cupboards
  • does not cover window cleaning, spring cleaning and/or industrial cleans


  • basic gardening such as lawn mowing, weeding, hedging and pruning
  • does not cover tree trimming/removal, gutter cleaning or rubbish removal

Family assistance

  • provided either in-home or through a registered child care centre to enable individuals to attend treatment

If a referrer identifies the person with cancer is experiencing extraordinary practical hardship that is not covered by the Practical Support Program outlined above, the referrer should contact 13 11 20 for advice.

A referral to the program assumes all other options for practical support have been exhausted.

An individual referred to the program must meet the following criteria:

  • aged under 65 years (or 50 years if Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander)
  • confirmed diagnosis of cancer
  • undergoing further investigations, cancer treatment, or has completed cancer treatment within the last six months
  • is experiencing practical hardship as a result of impaired physical function and a significant lack of social and financial resources

Who is not eligible?

  • Individuals who can self-fund or whose family and/or friends can provide practical or financial support to reduce the practical hardship
  • Individuals over 65 years (or 50 years if Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander) who are eligible for or in receipt of Commonwealth-funded aged care services through My Aged Care (e.g. CHSP, HSP)
  • Health professionals can access a referral form here.   Please refer to Practical Support Guidelines for more information.
  • Send the completed referral form to Cancer Council SA Practical Support Program by fax on (08) 9291 4268 or email to
  • Please note that this program is unable to assist with long term practical support and is not an emergency service. Services arranged may take up to 3 weeks to commence.
  • Referrer is notified of the outcome within two weeks.
  • For further enquiries contact Cancer Council on 13 11 20.

We're here

Contact Cancer Council 13 11 20 Information and Support for more information or you can request a call back.