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What is ONE Run?

Saturday, March 7 is shaping up to be a glorious, early spring Dallas day! What better way to celebrate cancer survivors and all those supporting them than by starting the day with an invigorating and fun walk/run! ONE Run is a community-focused fun run benefiting Cancer Support Community North Texas, and we at CSCNT love planning it each year! It reminds us how important it is to shine a light on, support, and celebrate all cancer survivors and those supporting them, whenever we can. We have all been impacted by cancer, whether by a personal diagnosis or as a family member, friend, co-worker or neighbor. Let’s also acknowledge the healthcare professionals who guide patients through their treatments to the other side – yes, we are all impacted. At every ONE Run there is nothing more inspiring than seeing that sea of excited, smiling participants, wearing their colorful, tie dyed t-shirts head out across the bridge into the bright early morning sun. And for us, there is nothing more rewarding than knowing that Cancer Support Community is doing so much to support everyone impacted by cancer in our local community. Our free program of support is truly amazing! We offer so much, all free of charge, but there is always more to do, more people to reach with our support. ONE Run helps us raise that awareness in our community, and each of us can do our bit by talking about Cancer support Community and sharing what we do. We are stronger together – so let’s enjoy this 9th ONE run, and on Monday, March 9th, we’ll start planning for our 10th annual ONE Run – truly a milestone to celebrate! For more information on this year’ ONE Run, check out ONERunTexas.org. It would be great to see you there!   Our 9th annual ONE Run is a community-focused fun run benefiting Cancer Support Community North Texas. One Run celebrates survivors of all cancer diagnoses and their loved ones with a 1K walk and 5K run. The fun continues with a party featuring music, dancing, free food & drinks, and lots of family friendly activities! ]]>

Qualifying for Social Security Benefits with Cancer

cancer, you may be concerned about making ends meet financially if you’ll be out of work while going through chemotherapy and other treatments. Fortunately, there could be resources available for you and your family. The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers disability benefits for people in need. Thousands of people receive disability benefits after a cancer diagnosis every year.

Medically Qualifying for Disability Benefits with Cancer

A cancer diagnosis alone will not qualify for disability benefits. The SSA will need evidence that you’ll be out of work for at least 12 months due to your cancer’s complications or treatment, or that your cancer is terminal.
Every form of cancer will qualify differently. For example, esophageal cancer will qualify with just a diagnosis, as will any form of cancer that has spread to another organ. Breast cancer, on the other hand, usually need to be advanced to Stage III-B or further to qualify.  Some cancers that are highly treatable, such as prostate cancer, will not qualify unless they’ve spread to another organ, returned despite treatment, or are an aggressive form of cancer, such as small-cell cancer.
The SSA uses its own medical guide known as the Blue Book to evaluate your specific cancer diagnosis. The entire Blue Book can be found online, so be sure to review it with your doctor to determine if you’ll medically qualify.

Compassionate Allowances and Social Security

The average Social Security disability claim takes about five months to be approved, but sometimes up to 2 years if your initial application is denied. Fortunately, this is not the case for people with advanced forms of cancer. The SSA started its Compassionate Allowance initiative in 2008 to help people with clearly disabling conditions get approved for the resources they need quickly. Cancers that will qualify as a Compassionate Allowance with just a diagnosis include:

  • Esophageal cancer
  • Gallbladder cancer
  • Brain cancer
  • Inflammatory breast cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Salivary and sinonasal cancers
  • Thyroid cancer

If you don’t have one of the above diagnoses, you could still qualify for a Compassionate Allowance. So long as one of the following is true, your claim will be expedited:

  • Your cancer has returned despite treatment (3 months or more usually qualifies)
  • Your cancer is inoperable
  • Your cancer has spread to other organs.

There are no additional steps you need to take when filling out your Social Security application when applying with a Compassionate Allowance, nor is there any additional paperwork for you to fill out. When you submit your application, the SSA will automatically flag your application for expedited review. Instead of waiting for 5+ months to hear back from the SSA, you could be approved in as little as 10 days.

Starting Your Disability Application

Most applicants can complete the entire Social Security application entirely online. This is the easiest way to apply for disability benefits, as you can save your progress and complete the application at a later date.
If you’d prefer to apply in person, you’ll need to make an appointment with a Social Security field office. There are more than 1,300 offices nationwide, and every state has at least four offices. Regardless of how you apply, be sure to fill out your application as carefully and thoroughly as possible.

Resources:

Cancer Support Community North Texas: https://cancersupporttexas.org/
SSA: https://www.ssa.gov/
Medical Evidence: http://www.disability-benefits-help.org/disability-tips/gathering-medical-records
Blue Book: https://www.ssa.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/13.00-NeoplasticDiseases-Malignant-Adult.htm
Compassionate Allowances: https://www.ssa.gov/compassionateallowances/conditions.htm
Local Offices: http://www.disability-benefits-help.org/social-security-disability-locations
Apply Online: https://www.ssa.gov/disabilityssi/
Disability Benefits Help is an independent organization, not affiliated with the Social Security Administration, dedicated to helping people of all ages receive Social Security disability benefits. If you have any questions on how to qualify with cancer or about the disability process in general, feel free to reach out to their team at help@ssd-help.org
For more cancer support resources, please visit our Resource & Referrals page here or contact our Resource Specialist, Patricia Callahan.]]>

Breakfast with Santa

Letters to Santa MailboxesGavin, who lost his mom to cancer when he was young, wanted to use his Eagle Scout Project to support and encourage other kids whose families have been impacted by the disease. He decided to organize a toy drive so that each child who came to CSCNT’s annual Breakfast with Santa would receive a surprise from the man in the red suit. With the help of his Boy Scout troop, he created collection boxes that he left with local businesses and schools, and he made three exquisite mailboxes for letters to Santa that were placed in each CSCNT clubhouse. Behind the scenes, CSCNT staff called the parents and grandparents of the kids involved in our “Noogieland” support program to request gift ideas. Kids opening presentsAfter the toy drive was completed, the presents were taken to the CSCNT admin offices where volunteers from SMU and the Junior League of Dallas carefully selected and wrapped a present for each child based on the list of interests provided by their parents. The morning of the party, Gavin, his Boy Scouts troop and Troop Leader, his family, and Cancer Support Community staff and Board Members arrived to cook breakfast and make sure the clubhouse was ready for Santa! Gavin’s Dad, Scott, put on the red suit as the Boy Scouts served pancakes, bacon, eggs, and fruit to the families as they arrived. After a morning filled with delicious food and fun holiday crafts, the kids gathered in the “living room” where the tree and presents were cheerily displayed. Santa gave each child their gift and the excitement of unwrapping and opening presents ensued! Santa talks with familyGavin’s toy drive was so successful that he was not only able to provide toys for each child at Breakfast with Santa, but also for the children who came to all the holiday parties at each of the three Cancer Support Community locations in North Texas. The extra toys and the donated gift cards provided additional support for the holiday season for families in the CSCNT community who have had a difficult year financially. Gavin’s project united the efforts of his Boy Scout troop, the philanthropy of local businesses and schools, and the donated time of SMU students and Junior League of Dallas volunteers to provide a joyful and magical holiday party for families and kids that have experienced the impact of cancer this year. If you have been impacted by cancer and would like to learn how to become involved at CSCNT, you can learn more here or email us at Info@CancerSupportTexas.org.   Boy Scouts serve breakfastChristmas tree with presents at cancer support community]]>

Co Pay Assistance

Co-Pay Assistance are programs that help cover the cost of some medications. Typically, the programs are funded through nonprofits or directly via the pharmaceutical companies.  There are criteria you have to meet to qualify for help.

  • Usually, have to have health insurance
  • Be within 400 to 500% of Federal Poverty Guidelines
  • Provide proof of income for all the in the household.
  • Provide proof of medication you are taking (usually a doctor’s note)

Most patients will learn about co-pay assistance in the oncology clinic. If there is a financial counselor available they will help patients to see if there is funding available. The program acts like a secondary insurance and will pay for the cost of the medicine after the main insurance is processed.

In some cases, despite meeting criteria, grants may be out of funds when you apply. When this occurs you may have to check back periodically to see when the grant opens again. In an effort to minimize the amount of time you might spend checking, PAN Foundation created a program where you can register and be notified when the funding becomes available. FundFinder helps you quickly find financial assistance from charitable foundations.  There are several medical illnesses in addition to cancer that offer assistance.  Anyone can register, for more information click on the link below.

FundFinder-Pan Foundation


La Asistencia de copago es un programa que ayuda a cubrir el costo de algunos medicamentos. Normalmente, los programas se financian a través de organizaciones sin fines de lucro o directamente a través de las compañías farmacéuticas. Hay criterios que debe cumplir para calificar para ayuda.

  • Generalmente tienen que tener seguro de salud.
  • Estar dentro del 400 a 500% de las pautas federales de pobreza
  • Proporcionar comprobante de ingresos para todos los miembros del hogar.
  • Proporcionar prueba de la medicación que está tomando (generalmente una nota del médico)

La mayoría de los pacientes aprenderán sobre la asistencia con copagos en la clínica de oncología. Si hay un asesor financiero disponible, ayudarán a los pacientes a ver si hay fondos disponibles. El programa actúa como un seguro secundario y pagará el costo del medicamento una vez que se haya procesado el seguro principal.

En algunos casos, a pesar de cumplir con los criterios, las subvenciones pueden quedar sin fondos cuando usted solicita. Cuando esto ocurra, es posible que deba revisar periódicamente para ver cuándo se abre nuevamente la subvención. En un esfuerzo por minimizar la cantidad de tiempo que podría dedicar a la verificación, la Fundación PAN creó un programa en el que puede registrarse y recibir una notificación cuando la financiación esté disponible. FundFinder ayuda a encontrar rápidamente la ayuda financiera de fundaciones de caridad. Hay varias

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