HuffPo: “When an Attorney is the Best Cancer Medicine”

Friday, August 14, 2015

In a new article for the Huffington Post, Randye Retkin, Director of LegalHealth at the New York Legal Assistance Group, shares the critical role that legal aid services and medical-legal partnership play in addressing a range of the non-medical issues that stand in the way of improving a person’s cancer prognosis and life expectancy.

Huffington Post “When an Attorney is the Best Cancer Medicine”

By Randye Retkin

Laura, a single mother with breast cancer, no income, and no medical insurance, was over $300,000 in medical debt. While her doctors addressed her cancer, they could do little to help her deal with the devastating financial consequences of her illness. Fortunately, Laura’s doctor referred her to a nonprofit that provides free legal services to low-income people living with cancer. Her attorney was able to get her approved for Social Security Disability, and eventually Medicaid, which retroactively covered all of her medical bills.

Laura’s story is not unusual. People living with cancer face daunting legal and economic challenges. Many struggle with insurance disputes, obtaining public benefits, housing, loss of employment, future care and custody planning of minor children, and estate planning. And the ramifications of cancer have a particularly disproportionate and destructive effect on uninsured, low-income, and at-risk populations.

Read the full article on the Huffington Post.