Financial Assistance and Lung Cancer

Last updated: April 2022

I don't get how financial assistance is supposed to work, especially when you have a dependent. They don't even pro-rate. My 16-year-old daughter still lives with me. I'm a single mom and they use her financial assistance through SSDI in the configuration. I don't understand this. This money is to cover her living expenses, clothes, and help me maintain the bills that we both have. How is this fair?

Somethings are not adding up

After configuration, if I used my income as a single person with no child, then I would've qualified. Hospitals have no idea how much it costs to raise a child. In fact, in the state of Georgia, if I were to die, she would get an increase and her father would have control. If he can't account for every penny, he loses financial assistance (which means she loses her financial assistance). How is that fair to her?

In the past, her income from SSDI was not taken into account when hospitals provided assistance. Not anymore. I don't understand why any of her income should go towards my financial obligations. These are my bills that are racking up. Every case is unique. Just because I get as much as I do, doesn't mean I don't need assistance. Expenses need to be taken into account. So, for someone that needs financial assistance because of lung cancer, for example, the hospital doesn't take into account their essential expenses. I have PET scans, CT scans, MRIs, and so many other tests. These tests can pretty much pop up unexpectedly.

Everyone's situation is different

When you are buying a business do you only look at the gross profit? No. You have to keep in mind the expenses, overhead costs. Our government and hospitals seem to have forgotten this. Every situation is different. Hospital assistance used to ask for expenses. That occurs no more. A flat rate for everyone as a standard. I spend around $400 every three months and travel to get scans. I also get MRIs. My medication isn't cheap either and leaves me too fatigued to work. Last year I  was able to supplement a little over $1,000 of my income to scrape enough money by to get food on the table. The income received from SSDI is barely enough with utilities and rent.

Will I ever be out of debt

I filed for bankruptcy in the past since I used credit cards. I made the mistake of putting all of my insurance bills on them. Not again. It's going to make me crazy keeping up with the different payments I'll be making. I'm not sure how anyone expected to make it as a single mom or dad with cancer without having assistance with child care and other dependent's expenses. It is unethical for these cancer institutions to take away money from our children to pay our medical bills.

I don't feel I will ever be out of debt. One thing bankruptcy taught me was to not put payments on your credit cards. The hospitals will try to get you too. Resist this tactic.

Six months worth of income

I went to college and did everything right. I was making enough money to support my daughter and me when BAM, "you have cancer" hit me like a ton of bricks. So, if you're reading this now, don't think it can't be you in this mess. It doesn't discriminate and will financially ruin you. So in this game of life, save as much money as you can as a "rainy day" fund. Or at least 6 months' worth of income you would need to survive. I always wondered why so many geniuses said six months. I get it now. If you become disabled, you have to wait six months before your disability begins after quitting your job.

I guess SSDI wants to see if you will make it through that 6 month period alive? I'm not sure, but they are spot on with six months.

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