Guidelines for Filling Out Financial Assistance Applications

  • Find someone, a family member or close friend, who can help with all of the different forms you fill out. This person will:
    • Keep track of the dates forms were sent
    • Call the different groups to make sure they got the forms
    • Keep track of how much money you were given
  • Get a file folder or binder to:
    • Keep copies of everything you send to groups
    • Keep a record of the date the form was sent
    • After you’ve heard back from the groups, keep track of how much you got
    • Make note if you can apply again in a year or if it is one time only assistance
  • Look into the groups to which you want to apply:
    • Do they tell you how your information will be used?
      • Could your story be shared on their website? Are you ok with that?
    • Do they have a privacy or confidentiality policy?
    • Is their contact information easy to find?
    • Do you wonder why they need certain pieces of information?
      • If so, ASK the group why they need that information before applying.
    • Ask your social workers or patient navigators what they know about the groups to which you are applying
  • Have other sources of financial help ready, such as:
    • Income sources including:
      • Food stamps
      • Assets (examples: owning your car, home, etc.)
      • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)/ Supplementary Security Income (SSI) checks
      • Savings
    • Groups usually ask for information about everyone in the household/family
  • Often you need your doctor to sign the forms before turning them in. If you can, try to give your doctor everything he/she needs to sign at an appointment so you can turn in your forms at the same time.
  • Keep in mind grants are usually in limited amounts and you may not get them right away.
  • Looking at your forms can take weeks. Some groups will send you a check while others will make payments (like utilities, medical bills, rent) straight to the creditor. Because it does take time, try not to wait until help is needed to fill out forms.
  • There are usually income and asset limits to get a grant. These are different for every group, so check them before you fill out a form that will be rejected because, for example, you are over the asset limit.
  • If you need help finding financial assistance programs, feel free to contact one of our Cancer Supportive Services professionals at PearlPoint Cancer Support.