Since its founding in 1997, DRLC’s Cancer Legal Resource Center (CLRC) remains unique, providing invaluable cancer-related legal information and resources to people nationwide.  The success of the Center’s work is reflected in the enormous need for the information it provides. Throughout its 15-year history, CLRC has served more than one-half million people through its Telephone Assistance Line, conferences, seminars, workshops, education and outreach programs, and other cancer community activities.  Unfortunately, a cancer diagnosis may carry with it a variety of legal issues, including insurance appeals, employment rights and leave time, access to health care and government benefits, and estate planning.  These legal issues can cause people unnecessary worry, confusion and stress, and can be overwhelming.  When these legal issues are not addressed, people may find that although they have lived through treatment, they have lost their homes, jobs or insurance coverage.  Although it should not take legal resources to access health care, understand insurance options or preserve one’s job, it frequently does.  To contact the Center, please call (866) THE-CLRC.  To inquire about CLRC’s ability to participate in an event or to send materials, please click here.

When information is readily and easily accessible, quality outcomes for patient survivorship improves, and stress and anxiety decreases.  CLRC is committed to providing information and resources on cancer-related legal issues to health care professionals, such as physicians, nurses, social workers, psychosocial care providers, physician’s assistants, patient navigators, patient advocates and community health advocates.  Ultimately, the goal is to train health care professionals to identify cancer-related legal issues and legal barriers to health care.  CLRC also provides appropriate referrals, which improves quality of life for cancer survivors and caregivers.

Evidence shows that being uninsured or underinsured increases risk of an early death in select illnesses and populations.  Confirmed in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) National Healthcare Quality Report 2011, urgent attention is needed to reduce disparities for minority and low-income groups regarding cancer screening and access to care. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality affirmed this in its 2011 National Healthcare Disparities Report stating, “The death rate from a disease is a function of many factors, including causes of the disease, social forces and effectiveness of the health care system in providing prevention, treatment and management of the disease.”