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Cancer & Financial Assistance or Aid

You, or your family member, have just been diagnosed with Cancer and you have no idea how you are going to pay the bill for your diagnosis, let alone the future bills.  You are not alone, many of us have had had this same stark realization.  Some of us, who felt that we had a sound financial plan for the future, have found out that a catastrophic illness can destroy that plan.  Hopefully, your treatment requirements will be financially manageable and you have the resources to pay for them.  If not, you may have to look at other methods of financial assistance.

First, take a look at resources that may already be available to you, such as employer related disability payments and disability benefits you may have carried on mortgage, credit card, and loan accounts.  You may be able to take a portion of an employer related retirement benefit on a hardship withdrawal basis.  If you belong to a fraternal organization, such as the VFW, Elks, Lions Club, etc.; you may be able to find some assistance there.

Next, ask your oncologist or the social service department of your treating medical institution.  Be honest with these professionals and tell them about your financial concerns.  Many treating facilities, hospitals, and cancer care centers have programs for financially assisting cancer patients.  They may be able to steer you to a representative for these programs.  Call your local American Cancer Society office.  They offer many programs of assistance and have information on others offered in your community.

I have to flat-out say that if you have a child with cancer, the BEST place to go to get help is St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
You can also visit this website page that lists a number of organizations that help different types of help for childhood cancer patients: Hope Portal.

Please take a look at the other pages on this website for Medication, Travel, and Health Insurance Assistance:

Travel Assistance

Health Insurance

Medicine Assistance

If you are no longer able to earn an income because of your own physical condition or that of a child, you may want to contact these US government programs:

Medicaid Eligibility

Social Security Disability Planner

Social Security Supplemental Security Income

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

Social Service Departments - US - By State

Veteran's Administration

Other good sources for emergency assistance is religious organizations in your community. Many of the churches in my home town have emergency food cupboards and financial funds for families in need. Check with your Human Services Department and ask if your community has this. Also, check with your local Salvation Army. Look in your telephone book to see if you might qualify for Lifeline telephone payment assistance. Call your utility supplier to see if they have any emergency funds to help pay for your heat or electric.

Free services that can assist you in achieving or maintaining financial independence during your cancer journey include:

American Cancer Society

Administration on Aging & Disabled - Caregiver Respite Care.

United Way 211

Air BnB May Have A Temporary Housing Donor - Contact Them

Cancer Care Links: Financial Assistance Links
Selection By Need Type
Transportation Links
Copay Financial Assistance Links
Extensive List of Help
Financial Assistance For 18 & Under

Here are a few organizations that help with medical expenses for specific situations:

Bone Marrow Foundation - created to fill the financial gap transplant patients may experience during treatment.

Hill-Burton Programs - US program to help low income patients pay health care expenses not covered by insurance.

Kelly Anne Dolan Memorial Fund - for childhood cancer patients.

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society - provides supplementary financial assistance to patients, with leukemia or lymphoma, in significant financial need.

Operation Smile - provides reconstructive facial surgery to indigent children/young adults in developing countries and the US.

Links To Programs

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

National Children's Cancer Society.