Sorting out financial issues and preparing necessary legal documents can help making everyday living a bit easier.
Click the boxes below to learn more about getting financial help and making legal plans.
We provide links to relevant articles and helpful websites below to help you keep this area of your life stress-free.
Getting Financial Help
“In the time we have it is surely our duty to do all the good we can to all the people we can in all the ways we can.” – William Barclay
Access Articles and Resources Here
A cancer diagnosis and treatment can interfere with your ability to work and increase your medical costs significantly. Medical bills, treatment and comfort care costs, daily living expenses and any expenses that your insurance may not cover can create a tremendous amount of stress. There may be financial help available for people with cancer and resources you can consider to help you with the costs of your illness. There are companies that can help you with medical billing, insurance, and reimbursement issues. There are co-payment organizations and patient assistance programs that can help you if you cannot afford the cost of medications. Government and community resource programs also may provide assistance to you. Getting to know the various financial resources will give you the knowledge and skills you need to get the most out of all the benefits for which you may qualify.
- “Can’t Work? Where to Turn to For Help,” Dennis Liotta, Esq.
- “Expecting the Unexpected,” CureToday Magazine
- “Health Insurance & Financial Assistance for Cancer Patients,” American Cancer Society
- “Tips for Finding Assistance,” CancerCare
- BenefitsCheckUp: Tool for Financial, Health and Prescription Savings
- Cancer and Careers
- CancerCare Financial Assistance
- Healthwell Foundation Financial Assistance
- NCI Resources for Financial Assistance for Patients & their Families
- Partnership for Prescription Assistance
- Patient Advocate Foundation Co-Pay Relief Program
- Social Security Disability Planner
Making Legal Plans
“It is always wise to look ahead, but difficult to look further than you can see.” – Sir Winston Churchill
Access Articles and Resources Here
Metastatic cancer affects all areas of your life. It can be a legal and financial burden on you and your family. If you feel confused or don’t know where to start, you are not alone. But there are things you can do to put plans in place and cope with the emotional and financial stress of metastatic cancer. Completing a will and advance directives can ease your mind and let your family know your wishes.
Simple wills do not require a lawyer; individuals can create simple wills using standard forms, will-making computer software or online services. You can do your own will online. Books, forms and software to help you create a simple will are available from Nolo, a long-time, reputable source of free and low cost legal information, or from your local library.
If you have a difficult or complex situation, a do-it-yourself will is not a good option and you should consult an attorney or estate planning professional.
Please make sure you complete advance directives, which are legal documents that allow people to convey their decisions about their care ahead of time. Thinking about getting your legal affairs in order and putting your advance directives in place may be difficult, but they will make it possible to ensure as much as possible that your wishes will be followed, now and at the end of your life. Advance directives are available for all 50 states.
The most common advance directives are a health care proxy and a living will. A health care proxy allows someone to make medical decisions for you any time you are unable to make decisions for yourself. You and your proxy should have ongoing conversations about your wishes, so that he or she will make the best decisions on your behalf when needed.
A living will is a legal document that you can used to make your wishes known regarding life-prolonging and symptom-managing medical treatments. In this document, you can indicate which treatments you do or do not want applied to you if you suffer from a terminal illness, are at the end of life or enter a permanent vegetative state
Know that you can change your mind at any time, even after you’ve signed your documents.
“Guide to Legal Issues in Life-Limiting Conditions,” American Health Law Association
“How Legal Services Are Supplementing the Work of the Cancer Care Team for Certain Psychosocial Issues,” Oncology Times
“Legal Guide for the Seriously Ill: Seven Key Steps to Get Your Affairs in Order,” American Bar Association
“Making a Will: Are Lawyers Optional?,” Nolo Law for All
“Making Medical Decisions for Someone Else: A How-To Guide,” American Bar Association