Founded in 1975, Disability Rights Legal Center (DRLC) is a 501C-3 non-profit, public interest advocacy organization that champions the rights of people with disabilities, including those affected by cancer. The organization confronts attitudinal and programmatic barriers that maintain discriminatory structures, prevent equal access, and prevent those with disabilities from full inclusion in society. DRLC shifts the paradigm to embrace diversity and does not exclude or patronize those living with disabilities, including cancer.

DRLC’s Cancer Legal Resource Center (CLRC) was founded in 1997 to address the legal issues faced by people with cancer, unique in the larger disability community, and is committed to providing information and resources about cancer-related legal issues to members of the cancer community across the nation. CLRC is the only national dedicated center for patients, survivors, caregivers, and health care professionals to access confidential cancer-related legal information and resources at no cost. Since its founding, CLRC has made legal information readily available for all extended cancer populations, ensuring that underserved communities are able to gain access to information and resources that otherwise may be out of reach.

The Cancer Legal Resource Center provides information through its national telephone assistance line/online assistance program, as well as outreach programs and community activities to educate and support cancer patients, their families, healthcare professionals and advocates on matters like maintaining employment through treatment, accessing healthcare and government benefits, taking medical leave and estate planning.  CLRC provides trainings in-person and online, and maintains a library of resources (including our Patient Legal Handbook), on a wide range of legal topics.

In addition to providing free resources, CLRC maintains a panel of qualified attorneys who can be matched, upon request, with callers needing legal counsel. While it should not take a lawyer to access health care or preserve one’s job, knowledge of legal rights helps people with cancer, caretakers, social workers, and physicians navigate the complex issues faced as a result of a cancer diagnosis.

To date, CLRC has assisted over half a million people to navigate legal issues that arise as a result of their diagnoses.  To submit a question, click here.  For training or event requests, please click here.