Melanie Tull is one of 40 Viridian advisors who participate in Cancer Council’s Pro Bono Program – a team of legal, financial and HR professionals who volunteer their time and expertise to provide advice and support to cancer patients and their families on a free basis when they can’t afford it.
As an advisor in the program, Mel has worked with two families over the past year to help alleviate financial stress during their difficult and heartbreaking journeys. Mel was able to assist the clients in gaining early access to superannuation to fund medical and living costs as well as claim through Centrelink and insurance to ensure they are retrieving the full benefits they’re entitled to.
A year in, Viridian has become a key advice partner for the program, offering advice services across five states.
In Western Australia, Executive Advisor Clint McNally has seen how cancer impacts a family firsthand and wanted to help others navigate the financial system.
Clint was introduced to a client through Cancer Council who sadly had a terminal diagnosis. Thankfully, they had life and disability insurance in place but did not understand the inner workings of it.
What should have been an easy process turned out to be a four-month process.
Working alongside insurance companies usually involves heavy paperwork and administration. This is where a financial advisor can help to ensure all claims are met and covered, easing the financial burden during a time of concern.
Viridian has already dedicated over 140 hours of pro bono work through Cancer Council, equating to a dollar value of $62,700 of advice.
Director of the Viridian Foundation, Ian Granter says that Cancer Council’s Pro Bono Program has seen many people access the help they need, “We know that when managing the stressful and emotional challenges of diagnosis and treatment, financial worries can only make matters worse. As professionals, we have the ability and the responsibility to make a difference where others cannot.”
Senior Financial Planner Shaun Au is another one of our advisors who is making a difference through the program.
Shaun has been working closely with a client who was diagnosed with advanced cancer. As a single parent they were left with limited funds, after their treatment ultimately led to less work and less pay.
Shaun was able to navigate the different claims and insurance covers for the client, a process that can be quite confusing and time consuming, and identified they have Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) cover. Accessing this cover means that they will be able to financially support their child if their health takes a turn and they can no longer work.
On top of this, Shaun and his team were able to investigate Centrelink options for his client and they are looking to receive the Disability Support Pension going forward.
The pro bono partnership between Viridian Advisory and Cancer Council means those who are facing a cancer diagnosis and treatment can be given peace of mind in knowing their financial matters are being taken care of. Our advisors can use their professional skillset and knowledge to create meaningful changes in the lives of people who need it most.
The need for legal, financial, accounting and workplace professional volunteers is only increasing. “In the last financial year, we received requests for assistance with 2,646 legal, financial and workplace issues. We anticipate demand for Cancer Council’s legal and financial support services will increase alongside rising costs of living which are putting pressure on people who are already struggling. Cancer Council greatly appreciates the support provided by Viridian Advisory” – Sophie Anderson, Manager National Pro Bono Services.
If you are interested to know more about the Cancer Council Pro Bono Program, please contact Ian Granter M:0499 555 251 or E: email@example.com.