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Financial help

When dealing with a cancer diagnosis or coping with treatment and recovery, patients and their families often worry about finances and benefits. There are lots of questions, such as:

  • “What happens to my income?”
  • “Where will my money come from?”
  • “How long can I be off work?”
  • “Will I be able to afford my treatments and any other associated costs?”
  • “Can I travel or leave the province if I am receiving government assistance?”
  • “Can I afford to take time off work to care for a loved one who has cancer?”

Below is information on programs and resources available to residents of Alberta. This information can help you determine your options, and guide you in the direction of where to get help. You may find help from one or more of the programs listed below.

Be sure to discuss your options with your healthcare provider(s), social worker, government representatives, financial advisor and insurance representative. These people have the expertise and knowledge to help you put the appropriate programs together to assist you best.

  • Alberta resources

    Alberta seniors benefit
    The Alberta Seniors Benefit program is an income-based program that provides a monthly cash benefit and determines Alberta Health Insurance premium exemptions for eligible seniors.

    Special needs assistance for seniors
    The Special Needs Assistance for Seniors program is an income-based program that provides a lump-sum cash payment to lower-income seniors facing financial difficulties.

    Assured income for the severely handicapped
    Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) provides financial and health benefits for adult Albertans who have a permanent disability that severely impairs their ability to earn a living. The level of benefits depends on income and assets. The maximum living allowance is $1000 per month, and additional benefits (personal income support benefits) may be provided to meet clients’ special needs.

    Alberta aids to daily living
    The Alberta Aids to Daily Living program helps Albertans with a long-term disability, chronic illness or terminal illness to maintain their independence at home, in lodges or group homes by providing financial assistance to buy medical equipment and supplies. An assessment by a health care professional determines the equipment and supplies that an Albertan can receive through this program.

    Income support
    Income Support from Alberta Human Resources and Employment provides financial benefits to individuals and families who do not have the resources to meet their basic needs, like food, clothing and shelter.

  • Northwest Territories resources

    Extended health benefits – Northwest Territories 
    The Government of the Northwest Territories will provide assistance to eligible persons in the Northwest Territories who require health services beyond those covered by the Northwest Territories Health Care Plan.

    Metis health benefits – Northwest Territories
    The Government of the Northwest Territories will provide health benefits assistance to eligible recipients of the Metis Health Benefits Program.

  • Federal resources

    Human resources and skills development Canada

    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada has a number of income security programs including Employment Insurance Sick Benefits, the Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security, Canada Pension Disability Benefits and Guaranteed Income Supplement, as well as the Allowance and the Allowance for the Survivor.

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Stories

Researcher Dr Michael Taylor Same brain tumour, different genetic profiles

Great progress has been made

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Some cancers, such as thyroid and testicular, have survival rates of over 90%. Other cancers, such as pancreatic, brain and esophageal, continue to have very low survival rates.

Learn more