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5 key things to do first after diagnosis

To help you in the initial stages of being diagnosed with a critical illness, we’ve identified five key areas to prioritise. Understanding where to start and what to address first may ease the emotional and financial strain so you focus on improving your quality of life.

1. Create your support network.

Inform your loved-ones and create your support team. Our conversation guide (PDF 46KB) may help.

2. Contact Centrelink.

Inform Centrelink about your situation and find out what financial assistance is available. They can also connect you with relevant support organisations.

3. Review the Serious illness or injury support guide and checklist.

Review the support guide (PDF 4MB) and step-by-step checklist (PDF 86KB) for considerations that may help you during this time.

4. Get informed about your financial position.

Now is a good time to assess your financial position so you can see what you have access to and where the gaps may be.

  • Create and maintain a budget.
  • Reach out to your bank, organisations and access appropriate insurances that you have in place for financial support and guidance.
  • Gather your financial documentation using the First things first checklist (PDF 65KB) so your loved ones can better support you when you need their help.

5. Appoint nominated decision makers.

Consider and take action towards appointing your nominated decision makers, representatives and authorities for when you need help.

Three helpful appointments are:

  • Power of Attorney (signing and transacting on your behalf with your direction)
  • Enduring Guardian* (making medical decisions for you when you are unable to do it yourself)
  • Disclosure Authority Form (allows a trusted representative to deal with claims and requesting forms on your behalf, while placing restrictions to protect your finances).

*in QLD this is part of enduring power of attorney.

Things you should know

This information is general in nature and has been prepared without taking your objectives, needs and overall financial situation into account. For this reason, you should consider the appropriateness for the information to your own circumstances and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.

© Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 AFSL and Australian credit licence 233714.