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Health Insurance

What help is available to cancer patients for housing needs and costs?

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  • Sources of help with short-term housing

    Many treatment centers have short-term housing centers or discount programs set up with nearby motels and hotels. The clinic social worker or oncology nurse may have suggestions for low-cost housing during hospital or clinic treatment.

    The American Cancer Society has a limited number of Hope Lodges throughout the United States which give families a place to stay during cancer treatment. Contact us at 1-800-227-2345 for information about a Hope Lodge near you.

    Most major treatment centers have a Ronald McDonald House nearby. These houses provide low-cost or free housing to patients and their immediate families. Ronald McDonald houses are designed to offer a nice break to any family with a seriously ill child, not just those with limited funds. Although partly funded by McDonald's Children's Charities, each house has its own management, sets its own admission standards, and operates according to its own rules. Check with your health care team's social worker or nurse to learn more.

    Sources of help with housing needs or mortgage payments

    The extra costs of treatment or major loss of family income may make it hard for families to pay their mortgage or rent on time. To keep a good credit rating, it is important to talk with your creditors or landlords about your situation and try to make special arrangements. Family, friends, or church members may be able to give you short-term help if they are made aware of the problem. Talk about your situation with your team social worker who may know of special resources.

    Families who need to move out of housing after a cancer diagnosis should talk with their county department of social services to find out if they qualify for government supported housing programs.

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