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COVID-19 Resources for Patients

  • COVID-19 and Cancer

    Up-to-date Information on COVID-19

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    For Blood Cancer Patients

    For Gastrointestinal (GI) Cancer Patients

    Resources to Support Basic Needs

    Coronavirus (COVID-19) and cancer can make many types of hardships for all types of people. Below is a list of some programs that may help you with food, shelter, finances, and other basic needs. Please call a Dana-Farber Resource Specialist at 617-632-3301 if you'd like to learn more about any of these programs.

    The information below includes some, but not all, information about supportive resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. The information listed should not take the place of conversations with members of your health care team; please speak with your cancer care team if you have questions or concerns about resources.

    Resource Services

    The 2-1-1 Helpline program is a free and confidential helpline that connects people across the U.S. with many types of services they may need, such as food, clothing and shelter. It is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by phone or online. A 2-1-1 agent can put you in touch with local groups near you. This program is run by United Way Worldwide. Call 211 or visit www.211.org.

    The Contra Database of Resources (Contra-COVID) is a group of medical students and professors across the country helping Latino and immigrant families during the pandemic. Contra-COVID created a list of resources with tips about getting food, unemployment, utility protection, housing, immigration, and more. To learn more about resources in and near Boston, visit en.contracovid.com/.

    Food Assistance

    Project Bread is an organization that helps people in Massachusetts find food in their neighborhood, such as at food pantries. It also helps if you are interested in applying for SNAP (Food Stamps) and WIC (Women, Infants, and Children). Call 1-800-645-8333, TTY 1-800-377-1292 or visit www.projectbread.org/get-help/foodsource-hotline.html for help.

    The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a government program, sometimes called “food stamps.” To learn whether you can get SNAP, visit www.mass.gov/snap.

    Many towns are giving school meals to students who would have received them at school for free. Boston Public Schools is mailing checks to families who are part of the free and reduced lunch program. To learn more, visit www.bostonpublicschools.org/cms/lib/MA01906464/Centricity/Domain/294/P-EBT Cards_English.pdf. To learn online about other towns' programs, enter the name of your town, "school lunch" and "coronavirus" in a search engine. You can also contact a Dana-Farber resource specialist at 617-632-3301.

    Adults ages 60 and older may be able get meals delivered to their homes. Visit www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org/.

    Many grocery stores offer delivery service. Call your local grocery store to learn more.

    Housing

    The Governor of Massachusetts has stopped all evictions and foreclosures in Massachusetts during the coronavirus State of Emergency through October 17, 2020. Landlords cannot evict you (unless the health or safety of other tenants is at risk). Also, homeowners cannot be foreclosed upon during this time. If you are concerned about eviction, please visit www.mass.gov/covid-19-getting-help-with-housing-costs.

    If you rent your home and live in Boston, you may be able to get money to help pay your rent if your income has been changed by COVID-19. Visit www.boston.gov/departments/neighborhood-development/office-housing-stability/rental-relief-fund.

    If you're worried about making mortgage payments, the CARES Act offers help for those having financial hardship due to COVID-19. To learn more, call your mortgage lender or visit home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/cares.

    If you are homeless or unhoused, you can visit www.mass.gov/orgs/housing-and-communit-development or call 866-584-0653 to learn about housing options for you in Massachusetts.

    Health Insurance

    If you need health insurance, you may be able to get MassHealth at www.mahealthconnector.org/.

    If you have health insurance, your insurer must pay for COVID-19-related treatment and testing without requiring any co-pays or coinsurance.

    Also if you have health insurance, all commercial insurers are required to pay for medically necessary telehealth services the same way they would pay for in-person services.

    Prescription Medication Assistance

    If you need medications delivered, call your local pharmacy for delivery choices. Many pharmacies are delivering prescriptions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    If you have MassHealth, you may be able to get refills on your prescriptions early and/or 90-day supplies of certain drugs. To learn more, visit www.mass.gov/info-details/masshealth-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-providers#guidance-for-pharmacies-.

    If you are worried about how to pay for your cancer drugs, a Dana-Farber Pharmacy Resource specialist can speak with you about options. Email DFBWCCPharm@partners.org.

    Unemployment

    The Department of Unemployment Assistance is trying to help workers and employers who cannot work due to the impact of COVID-19. To learn more or to apply for unemployment benefits, visit www.mass.gov/how-to/apply-for-unemployment-benefits.

    Foundation Assistance

    If you are being treated for cancer or have a cancer diagnosis, you may be able to get financial support from CancerCare. Call 1-800-813-4673 or visit www.cancercare.org/financial.

    You may be able to apply to the Healthwell Foundation for up to $250 if you or a family member has COVID-19 or is at high risk for COVID-19 (such as because of cancer). To learn more, call 1-800-675-8416 or visit www.healthwellfoundation.org/fund/covid-19-fund/.

    To learn more, please contact a DFCI resource specialist at 617-632-3301.

    Immigrants

    If you are an immigrant, you may be able to get emergency funds. Visit www.undocuscholars.com or call 360-524-3664 to learn more. Help is available in English and Spanish.

    The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition offers information about resources and laws about immigrants and refugees. For details, visit miracoalition.org/resources/covid19/.

    Utility Protection and Assistance

    There will be a stop on utility shutoffs on electric and gas services during the COVID-19 State of Emergency in Massachusetts. If you get a call telling you that your electricity or gas will be shut off and asking for money, it may be a scam. Visit www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-guidance-and-directives#other-guidance- to learn more.

    If you live in Boston, the Boston Water and Sewage Commission will not shut off your home's water, and they will not charge any late fees during the COVID-19 state of emergency. Visit www.bwsc.org/news-and-events/news/responding-covid-19-crisis-bwsc-suspends-residential-water-service to learn more.

    You may be able to get 60 free days of internet through Comcast. Visit apply.internetessentials.com or call 1-855-846-8376 (English) or 1-855-765-6995 (Spanish) for details.