Financial assistance resources
Many organizations help patients pay for cancer treatment, medication, and other expenses. Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) offers financial assistance to Washington state residents based on family need and SCCA resources. Low-income patients may qualify for Medicaid, a public insurance program. An SCCA financial counselor can help you apply for financial assistance.
SCCA financial assistance
SCCA grants financial assistance for medically necessary services to residents of Washington state who are at or near the federal poverty level. Assistance is based on family need and SCCA’s resources. The following documents have more information about SCCA's Financial Assistance Policy as well as directions on how to apply, in English, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese. Click to download these documents, which are formatted as PDFs.
SCCA Family Assistance Fund
The SCCA Family Assistance Fund was created to help SCCA patients who qualify with some of those additional personal expenses that arise because they are in treatment. This fund cannot assist with medical bills, co-pays, or medications. Please see eligibility requirements on the application. Completed Applications can be accepted only after a patient has begun treatment at the SCCA. Patient Navigators and Social Workers may be available to help you with questions and potentially locating supplemental community resources that might be available to you, as the Family Assistance Fund is a limited fund made up of donations from individuals and community groups.
Please see eligibility requirements on the application.
Help with treatment expenses
These organizations may help you with expenses relating to cancer treatment.
CancerCare is a national nonprofit agency that offers free support, information, financial assistance, and practical help to people with cancer and their loved ones. Financial assistance is given in the form of limited grants for certain treatment expenses.
- Breast cancer: CancerCare has partnered with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation to create the Linking A.R.M.S. program, which provides limited financial assistance for hormonal and oral chemotherapy, pain and anti-nausea medication, lymphedema supplies, and durable medical equipment for women with breast cancer.
- Cervical or breast cancer: CancerCare also operates the AVONCares Program for Medically Underserved Women, in partnership with the Avon Foundation. This program provides financial assistance to low-income, underinsured, uninsured, and underserved women throughout the country who need supportive services (such as transportation, childcare, and home care) related to the treatment of breast and cervical cancers. For information, call (800) 813-HOPE (4673)
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) offers information and financial aid to patients in significant financial need who have leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, or multiple myeloma. The LLS Patient Financial Aid web page provides more information about the types of service available, application forms, and eligibility requirements. For information, call (800) 955-4572.
Northwest Sarcoma Foundation provides grants up to $500 for people in active treatment for sarcoma. Money can be used for living expenses, transportation, prescriptions, lodging needed to seek care, childcare, medical supplies, and treatments.
Help with medication expenses
NeedyMeds is an information source similar to the Yellow Pages. It does not supply medications or financial assistance but helps people find assistance programs and other available resources. The nonprofit organization provides the information at no cost.
The Patient Advocate Foundation Co-Pay Relief Program provides limited payment assistance for medicine to insured patients who qualify financially and medically. Get more information about the program online, or call (866) 512-3861.
Some pharmaceutical manufacturers offer patient-assistance programs to help pay for medications. To learn whether a specific drug might be available at reduced cost through such a program, talk with your physician or social worker or visit the drug manufacturer’s website. Most pharmaceutical companies have a section called “patient-assistance programs” on their website.
Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) created the Medicine Assistance Tool (MAT) to provide a dedicated search engine that allows users to search for financial assistance resources available to them, their loved ones or patients in their lives through the various biopharmaceutical industry programs available for patients who are eligible.
Help with housing, wigs and other issues
The American Cancer Society provides free wigs, head coverings, financial referrals, and resources to patients in need. Call (800) ACS-2345 (227-2345) or your local chapter.
The Patient Advocate Foundation provides education, legal counseling, and referrals for cancer patients and survivors concerning managed care, insurance, financial issues, job discrimination, and debt-crisis matters. Call (800) 532-5274.
American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO) is a nonprofit organization that provides information about many aspects of cancer, including a list of organizations that offer financial assistance to eligible families. Call (800) 366-CCCF (2223).
Ronald McDonald House, supported by Ronald McDonald House Charities, provides a “home away from home” for families of seriously ill children receiving treatment at nearby hospitals. Ronald McDonald Houses are temporary residences near the medical facility, where family members can sleep, eat, relax, and find support from other families in similar situations. In return, families are asked to make a donation ranging on average from $5 to $20 per day, but if that isn’t possible, your stay is free. Call (630) 623-7048.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can provide information about tax deductions for medical costs that are not covered by insurance policies. Examples include mileage for trips to and from medical appointments, out-of-pocket costs for treatment, prescription drugs, or equipment, and the cost of meals during lengthy medical visits. Your local IRS office, tax consultants, or certified public accountants can determine whether medical costs are tax deductible. Call (800) 829-1040.
Community voluntary agencies and service organizations, such as United Way of America, Salvation Army, Lutheran Social Services, Jewish Social Services, and Catholic Charities may offer help. These organizations are listed in your local telephone directory or you may search for them online. Some churches and synagogues may provide financial help or services to their members.
State and local social services agencies can provide help with food, housing, prescription drugs, transportation, and other medical expenses for those who are not eligible for other programs. For information, contact your state or local agency, listed in your local telephone directory, or you may search online.
Resources for international patients
The International Cancer Information Service Group (ICISG) is an independent international organization whose mission is to provide high quality cancer information services and resources. Cancer information services are available in many countries and they may be able to help locate financial assistance close to where you live. A list of these cancer information services is available on the website or may be requested by writing to the National Cancer Institute Public Inquiries Office, Cancer Information Service, Room 3036A, 6116 Executive Boulevard, MSC 8322, Bethesda, MD 20892-8322, USA.
The International Union Against Cancer (UICC) consists of international cancer-related organizations that may have helpful information about financial assistance. To find a resource in or near your country, you can search the UICC’s membership directory, call + 41 22 809 18 11, or contact the UICC at:
International Union Against Cancer (UICC)
62 Route de Frontenex
The National Cancer Institute (NCI), the principal cancer research organization in the United States, has limited information about financial resources for people living outside this country. Call (800) 4-CANCER (422-6237).