Financial Support for People with Cancer
Cancer treatment may result in a loss of income as well as an increase in medical and transportation expenses. The following programs offer financial support to eligible cancer patients.
If you would like more information, or help applying for any of the programs listed below, please reach out to the cancer patient navigator.
Medical travel support programs
For information on programs that help with transportation and accommodations, visit Medical Travel Information for People with Cancer.
Nonprofit organizations with financial support programs
The following list of national nonprofit organizations offer short-term financial assistance.
Note: this list is not exhaustive. If you are experiencing financial hardship and do not qualify for any of the programs below, you are encouraged to do your own research or reach out to the cancer patient navigator.
Additionally, you may want to consider local charitable support offered through churches, clubs, and community groups in your area.
Shine Through the Rain: Rainy Day Fund
This support program provides funding of up to $1,500 to help those in financial need with transportation, rent, utility, phone and grocery expenses. Patients must be currently receiving active treatment and have an annual income of less than $60,000 to qualify for consideration.
For more information on eligibility please visit the Rainy Day Fund web page.
The Kelly Shires Breast Cancer Foundation
This program offers financial assistance to people facing a recent breast cancer diagnosis. You may be eligible to receive up to $1,000 per application and you can apply three times a year. There is a lifetime cap of $12,000 that cannot be given in a lump sum payment.
The Canadian Breast Cancer Support Fund
The Canadian Breast Cancer Support Fund offers short-term financial assistance to breast cancer patients who are facing financial difficulties while they are undergoing treatment. For more information or to complete an application form visit www.breastcancersupportfund.ca
Pancreatic Cancer Canada
The Patient Financial Support program provides grants of $500 or $1,000 to patients in need. Patient Support Grants help offset expenses related to treatment, such as costs associated with travel for treatment, medications, childcare, utility bills, groceries, rent or mortgage payments, and counseling.
To qualify, applicants must provide household income information as reported to the Canada Revenue Agency from the previous year. For more information, visit Pancreatic Cancer Canada.
Provincial government programs
You may be eligible for coverage or cost assistance of approved medications and supplies if you meet the financial criteria, or if you have a medical condition with an established drug program.
Visit the Drug Programs web page for more information.
Seniors Independence Initiative
The Seniors Independence Initiative provides financial assistance to low-income seniors for practical services making it easier for seniors to remain in their own homes and communities. Help is available for services such as light housing keeping, meal preparation, or snow removal.
If you are 65 or older, the seniors navigator can help you access this and other government programs.
This program provides support to Islanders living with disabilities. Disabilities may include physical, intellectual, neurological, sensory and mental disabilities. For some individuals, living with chronic cancer may be debilitating and interfere with their ability to work, attend school or tend to other activities of daily living.
If this is your situation, please reach out to AccessAbility Supports for an assessment.
Social Assistance Program
Those who are unable to work and do not qualify for other government benefits may be eligible to have their basic needs—such as food, shelter, medications and transportation to appointments—covered through the Social Assistance Program.
There is a separate Provincial Dental Care Program for those who meet the financial threshold. Applicants do not need to be receiving Social Assistance to qualify for the dental care program.
Government of Canada Programs
The Government of Canada offers a variety of benefits and programs to help Canadians meet their financial needs.
There are also disability benefits and additional programs for Indigenous peoples, those in the military and veterans. Visit the Benefits web page for more information on these programs and many others.
Canada Revenue Agency
The Government of Canada offers tax deductions, credits, and expenses you can claim to reduce the amount of income tax you need to pay.
PEI Breast Prosthesis Program
Women who have had breast surgery can get their first prosthetic and adapted bra free of charge (approximately $400 value) from the PEI Breast Prosthesis Program by calling Eileen Moore, mastectomy prosthesis consultant, at 902-892-4556. Post-mastectomy surgery patients can meet at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) to have a fitting six weeks after surgery.
Canadian Red Cross Health Equipment Loan Program
The Canadian Red Cross operates a Health Equipment Loan Program (HELP). This program provides medical equipment including wheelchairs and walkers. For information, visit the HELP Program web page.
Canadian Cancer Society Wig Services
All Canadians, no matter where they live, can borrow free wigs by filling out a simple online order form. Based on the information provided, the CCS will email you up to three wig options to select from. The wig will then be mailed directly to your home.
Dreams Come True Free Wig Program
Charlottetown hair salon Dreams Come True provides free wigs to cancer patients who cannot afford to purchase their own. Contact Carla Wilson-MacKinnon at 902-940-0790 for more information.