Navigating Financial and Legal Matters
Addressing financial and legal matters is important because it may reduce some of the stress in your life and help you cope better. It may be beneficial to delegate this task to a trusted family member or friend, or a certified financial planner who is knowledgeable about cancer issues.
Budget for Healthcare Costs
Planning for healthcare costs to ensure your financial security is necessary regardless of your income. Insurance can cover many medical care costs, and there are various aid programs that can help with medication, travel and/or housing costs. Federal and state programs also may be available for qualified cancer patients. The majority of pancreatic cancer patients will automatically medically qualify for Social Security disability benefits.
Talk to a financial counselor about your options or explore resources online:
- CancerCare Financial and Co-Pay Assistance
- National Comprehensive Cancer Network Patient and Payment Assistance
- Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition
- National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation
- Social Security Disability Benefits
- American Cancer Society
Two documents that are involved with your healthcare (called advance directives) are a living will and a durable power of attorney:
- A living will allows people to know what kind of medical care you want if you are ever unable to speak for yourself.
- A durable power of attorney for healthcare names a person to make medical decisions for you if you are unable. This person is chosen by you and is called a healthcare proxy.
Each state has its own laws about advance directives, so you may want to consult with a social worker or lawyer about the laws in your state.
Two documents that are not part of advance directives are a will and power of attorney:
- A will tells how a person wants his or her money and property distributed.
- Power of attorney appoints a person to make financial decisions when you are unable.
A lawyer is not always needed to help with legal matters, but you may need to have documents signed by a notary public.