87TAB FIVE | RESOURCES patient guide
GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE Social Security Disability Insurance
If you have paid into Social Security for much of your life and then become disabled, you may qualify for disability beneﬁts.
Beneﬁts begin after ﬁve months of becoming disabled. The Social Security Administration has a very strict deﬁnition of
disability. If you are denied coverage, you may appeal the decision by writing a letter to obtain your disability rights. Or,
you may decide to hire an attorney for the appeals process for better representation of your case.
If you do receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you can become eligible for Medicare after 24 months. To
apply for SSDI, you should call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 or apply online at
Supplemental Security Income
This is a supplement to your income or the family of someone who is disabled. To qualify, you must have low income and
assets and be disabled, over age 65 or legally blind. The Supplemental Security Income Web site has a Beneﬁt Eligibility
Screening Tool (BEST) to see if you are eligible. For more information, you should call 1-800-772-1213 or go to their
Web site at http://www.ssa.gov/ssi/index/.htm.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
This is a program that provides ﬁnancial assistance to low-income families by granting federal funds to state entities. In
Alabama, the AL Department of Human Resources allocates money through the Family Assistance Program. For more
information on the Family Assistance Program, call 334-242-1773 or go to their Web site at
Drug Assistance Programs
Some pharmaceutical companies and foundations offer free or nearly free medications to patients who are underinsured
or cannot afford them. To meet qualiﬁcation requirements, you will need to provide tax forms, pay stubs and/or bank
statements. You will need to contact the individual company or foundation. The Caring for Cancer Program has an online
database that gives information and forms for almost every cancer drug and pharmaceutical program. Go to
Google Caring4Cancer and follow the links to Patient Assistance Programs for the Underinsured.
There are other organizations that provide small grants to help patients for short periods of time. Some programs are
diagnosis-speciﬁc, while others will only cover certain parts of your treatment, co-pays and medications.