17 Financial Aid Resources Every Person With Cancer Should Know (2023)

Financial burdens are a common source of stress for those with cancer. It's especially tough for people with little or no insurance. But it can put strain on any cancer patient, their families, and caregivers.

Fortunately, there are several financial assistance programs that help with cancer-related costs. They include government-subsidized programs, community-based services, and organizations founded by families of cancer patients or by patients for patients.

This article reviews many organizations that help with cancer-related financial assistance. It includes information about their programs, who is eligible for services, and the types of assistance they offer.

17 Financial Aid Resources Every Person With Cancer Should Know (1)

Nongovernmental Service Organizations

The following nongovernmental organizations are often good places to start in your search for financial assistance, most of which offerEnglish and Spanish publications and a bilingual helpline.


CancerCare is a national, nonprofit agency that offers free support, information, and financial assistance to people with cancer and their loved ones. You can browse its website or call and speak to an oncology social worker to help you find resources.

CancerCare's reach also extends to healthcare professionals, providing the educational resources they need.

Financial resources include help with:

  • Transportation
  • Lodging
  • Home care
  • Childcare

For those with cats or dogs, PAWProgram is CancerCare's pet assistance and wellness program. It offers financial assistance for pet food, pet sitting, boarding fees, veterinarian expenses, medications, and more.

Cancer type: All

Who it's for: Patients, caregivers, loved ones, survivors, and healthcare professionals

AVONCares Assistance for Women Facing Cancer

AVONCares Assistance for Women Facing Canceris a program managed by CancerCare that provides financial assistance to low-income, underinsured, and underserved women throughout the United States. Support services include transportation, childcare, and home care to improve the lives of those undergoing treatment forbreast cancerorcervical cancer.

Cancer type: Breast or cervical cancer

Who it's for: Underserved women

Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation (CCCF)

Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation (CCCF)is a nonprofit organization that provides information, peer support, and advocacy through publications and a network of local support groups.

CCCF maintains a list of organizations to which eligible families can apply for financial assistance. It has multiple foundations in different states, look for one close to you or your treatment center.

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS)

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS)offers information and financial aid to peoplewho have leukemia, Hodgkin's disease, ormultiple myeloma. Its programs offer a wide variety of financial support including assistance with:

  • Co-pays
  • Travel
  • Mortgage
  • Utilities
  • Vehicle expenses
  • Acute (sudden) dental work related to treatment

Cancer type: Blood Cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, or multiple myeloma

Who it's for: Blood cancer patients

Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF)

Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF)provides education, legal counseling, and referrals to people with cancer regarding insurance, financial issues, job discrimination, and debt crisis. The PAF Co-Pay Relief Program is a subsidiary of the PAF and provides financial assistance to patients who meet eligibility criteria.

Cancer type: All

Who it's for: Patients with a chronic, life-threatening, or debilitating disease

Cancer for College

Cancer for College was founded in 1993 by a two-time cancer survivor. It provides educational scholarships to cancer survivors. There is a fast and easy scholarship application located on its website.

Cancer type: All

Who it's for: Cancer survivors

Family Reach

Family Reach has been helping families of those with cancer overcome financial barriers for 25 years. It helps cancer patients and their families with:

  • Essential bills
  • Housing payments
  • Groceries
  • Many costs of cancer

Cancer type: All

Who it's for: Cancer patients, families, and caregivers

National Foundation for Transplants

National Foundation for Transplants helps patients who need an organ transplant, This organization provides fundraising tools and guidance to help transplant patients raise funds. This support can help cover their out-of-pocket transplant-related expenses.

Cancer type: People who require organ transplants

Who it's for: Organ transplant patients and families

The Pink Fund

The Pink Fund assists with cost-of-living expenses for breast cancer patients in active treatment. Its goal is to help breast cancer patients focus on healing, raising their families, and returning to the workplace.

Cancer type: Breast cancer

Who it's for: Breast cancer patients in active treatment

Pinky Swear Foundation

The Pinky Swear Foundation was established by Steve and Becky Chepokas in memory of their son, Mitch. Mitch was a generous child who lost his battle with cancer. He made his parents pinky swear that they would continue to financially help kids with cancer.

Pinky Swear offers financial and emotional support to children with cancer and their families. The organization does not limit requests from families or discriminate based on socioeconomic status.

Cancer type: All

Who it's for: Children with cancer

Accessia Health (Formerly Patient Services Inc., or PSI)

Accessia Health (formerly Patient Services, Inc.) was founded by patients to help other patients navigate the complexities of health care.

It offers education, financial assistance, specialized legal services, case management, and some counseling services. Its programs assist with co-pays, prescriptions, health insurance premiums, infusion and nursing services, travel, and more.

Cancer type: Any rare or chronic disease

Who it's for: Patients with rare or chronic disease

Federal and State Health Agencies

In addition to nonprofit programs, thereare governmental channels that can provide direct assistance to people with cancer:


Medicaid isa jointly funded, federal-state health program for people who need financial assistance for medical expenses. At a minimum, states must provide home care services to people who receive federal income assistance such as Social Security Incomeor Aid to Families with Dependent Children.

Medicaid coverage includes part-time nursing, home care aide services, and medical supplies/equipment. Coverage information is available from local state welfare offices, state health departments, state social services agencies, or the state Medicaid office.


Medicareis a federal health insurance program for Americans 65 years or older, as well asdisabled people under 65 and individuals with permanent liver failure. Medicare may offer reimbursement for some home care services or coverage ofhospiceservices for those accepted into a Medicare-certified program.

Social Security Administration

Social Security Administrationis the government agency that oversees Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Social Security provides a monthly income for eligible elderly and disabled people, while SSI supplements payments for those who meet income eligibility requirements.

Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)is a federal-state partnership that offers low-cost or free health insurance coverage to uninsured children in low-income families.

Veteran Administration (VA)

Veteran Administration (VA) offers medical benefits, including cancer treatment at a VA Medical Cancer to eligible veterans and their dependents. Treatment for service-connected conditions is provided, while treatment for all other conditions may be available based on the veteran's financial need.


Hill-Burtonis a program that requires healthcare facilities that receive construction funds from the federal government to provide some services to low-income individuals who cannot afford to pay for their care.

Other Meansof FinancialAssistance

Community Service Organizations

Communityservice organizationssuch as the Salvation Army, Lutheran Social Services, Jewish Social Services, Catholic Charities, and the Lions Club may offer financial help.

Community Fundraising and Crowdfunding

Community fundraising and crowdfundingare other mechanisms well worth considering. Many people find that friends, family, and social networks are more than eager to contribute financially if they are aware of a difficult situation.

Online fundraising websites like GoFundMe are frequently used for these kinds of campaigns, allowing families to cull wider support using social media channels.

Income Tax Deductions

Income tax deductions allow you to deduct many of your medical expenses from your annual income before taxes.

Examples of tax-deductible expensesmight include:

  • Mileage for trips to and from medical appointments
  • Out-of-pocket costs for treatment
  • Prescription drugs/equipment costs
  • Cost of meals during lengthy medical stays

Your local Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officecan help you determine which costs are deductible.


Economic burdens cause extra stress for patients and families fighting cancer. Financial assistance programs can help with cancer-related costs, including co-pays, utilities, transportation, etc.

There are private organizations, government-subsidized programs, and community-based services to help offset some of the costs associated with fighting cancer. Some assist with all types of cancer or chronic illnesses while others help with specific cancers or geographic regions.

Fundraising and crowdfunding are other options worth considering. Family, friends, and social networks are often eager to help financially when they know there is a need.

A Word From Verywell

Having financial burdens when coping with cancer can be scary and frustrating. Fortunately, multiple programs and organizations can help you navigate the healthcare system, as well as provide financial assistance.

Don’t hesitate to discuss financial concerns with your healthcare providers. They often refer cancer patients to cancer foundations, social workers, or care coordinators to link them to the financial assistance they need.

Best Life Insurance for Cancer Patients


What payments can you get if you have cancer? ›


There are federal disability benefits available for cancer patients. To qualify for disability benefits, either Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you must either have enough work credits for SSDI or meet the financial criteria for SSI.

What is cancer related financial hardship? ›

Previous studies have estimated that approximately 25% to 50% of cancer survivors face financial hardship, though the definition of financial hardship may have varied across studies.

What resources can help people who have cancer? ›

Sources of Financial Assistance for People With Cancer
  • Health Insurance. ...
  • Government Programs. ...
  • Public and Nonprofit Hospitals. ...
  • Co-pay Relief Programs. ...
  • Patient Assistance Programs. ...
  • Assistance from Voluntary Organizations. ...
  • Fundraising. ...
  • Personal Financial Planning.

How do cancer people get money? ›

Assistance Fund

Through its more than 70 programs, the Assistance Fund has supported 125,000 people in gaining the treatment they needed since 2009. A few programs to mention are the Breast Cancer Copay Assistance Program, Bladder Cancer Copay Assistance Program and Gastric Cancer Copay Assistance Program.

Can I get extra money if I have cancer? ›

You may qualify for government benefits if you have cancer or care for someone with cancer. If you have a disability or your cancer is advanced, you might also qualify for certain benefits. Help is available for bills and housing costs, as well as for children's costs and other health expenses.

Do you get money from the government if you have cancer? ›

The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides financial assistance to people with many different forms of medical disability. Several types of cancer are included in the SSA's list of covered disabilities, especially if the illness or treatment causes symptoms that prevent you from working.

What are the three main types of financial hardships for cancer patients? ›

Measures of medical financial hardship encompass 3 domains: material conditions, psychological response, and coping behaviors.

Does cancer put you on disability? ›

A cancer diagnosis may qualify as a disability, allowing you to apply for and receive SSDI income, and your condition may even warrant an expedited SSDI application.

Does all cancer qualify for disability? ›

In general, any cancer that is Stage IV or terminal will automatically qualify a person to receive disability benefits. A very serious cancer diagnosis qualifies for the Compassionate Allowance program, which expedites the claim for disability benefits to start receiving money quickly.

What to do if you have cancer and are poor? ›

Talk about your situation with the cancer treatment team social worker who may know of special resources. Families who need to move out of their homes after a cancer diagnosis should talk with their county department of social services to find out if they can get into low-cost or government-supported housing programs.

How can I raise money for cancer patients? ›

15 Unique and Effective Cancer Fundraiser Ideas
  1. Tree Planting. A tree planting event is a great way to give back to the planet and the community while raising funds for cancer research and treatment. ...
  2. Scavenger Hunt. ...
  3. Group Geocaching. ...
  4. Virtual Auction. ...
  5. Walkathon. ...
  6. Wellness Classes. ...
  7. Movies at the Park. ...
  8. Lantern Release.
Jan 6, 2023

What happens if you can't work due to cancer? ›

If you or a loved one has cancer or is a cancer survivor, you may be eligible for one or more of the following: Leave Under the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act. Leave Under State Family and Medical Leave or Temporary Disability Laws. Leave as a Reasonable Accommodation Under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

What cancer receives the most funding? ›

Cancers with the largest combined NCI and NPO funding were breast cancer ($3.75 billion) and leukemia ($1.99 billion). Those with the least funding were endometrial ($94 million), cervical ($292 million) and hepatobiliary cancers ($348 million).

Can I claim PIP if I have cancer? ›

Am I eligible for PIP if I have cancer? To get PIP, you must have problems with daily living, moving around or both. A cancer diagnosis in itself does not make you eligible for PIP, so you need to be able to show the impact your illness or treatment has on your day-to-day life.

Can you still get disability if you are in remission from cancer? ›

Remission and Social Security Disability Benefits

In cases of partial or complete remission, you may still be entitled to SSDI benefits, even if you are able to return to work.

Can you get sick pay if you have cancer? ›

This may not be paid time off unless your employment contract states so. If you're an employee and cancer treatment makes you unable to work, you will usually get Statutory Sick Pay. Your employment contract may also allow you to claim Occupational or Company Sick Pay.

Does insurance pay out for cancer? ›

Traditional policies typically have an all-cause death benefit, which means that no natural cause of death, including cancer, should disqualify you from coverage.

What benefits do cancer patients get in Texas? ›

Texas Health and Human Services – offers various programs and services for low-income individuals and families, including healthcare coverage and financial assistance. The Assistance Fund – provides financial assistance for medication and treatment costs for individuals with specific conditions, including cancer.

How to raise money for a cancer benefit? ›

15 Unique and Effective Cancer Fundraiser Ideas
  1. Tree Planting. A tree planting event is a great way to give back to the planet and the community while raising funds for cancer research and treatment. ...
  2. Scavenger Hunt. ...
  3. Group Geocaching. ...
  4. Virtual Auction. ...
  5. Walkathon. ...
  6. Wellness Classes. ...
  7. Movies at the Park. ...
  8. Lantern Release.
Jan 6, 2023


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