Client FAQ 


These are some of the questions that our clients and potential clients ask most. Please contact us if you need further assistance. We look forward to hearing from you! 



Who qualifies for BCEF assistance?

To qualify for BCEF assistance, an applicant must meet the following three criteria:

  1. Live in San Francisco, San Mateo or Santa Clara Counties
  2. Be in current treatment for breast cancer. Generally defined as: chemotherapy, radiation or surgery within the last 6 months or living with metastatic breast cancer.
  3. Have a current monthly individual income of $2,000 or less (net)


*Annual renewal based on continued eligibility.


How do I apply?

  1. Contact Us: 415-932-6020 or
  2. We’ll schedule an appointment or refer you to an intake partner near you.


Does BCEF serve women and men?

Yes. We do not discriminate based on gender.


Do I need to make an appointment?

Yes. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate drop-ins. Please call or email us to make arrangements for your intake.


What do I need to bring with me to apply?

Please bring:

  1. Any picture ID
  2. Letter of Diagnosis* verifying current breast cancer treatment
  3. Current proof of income* such as social security or disability verification, pay stubs or bank statements.
  4. The bill(s) you need paid by BCEF


* We understand that obtaining the necessary paperwork can be overwhelming, especially while in medical treatment. You are not required to have all of your paperwork in place to begin the application process. Once we have a signed waiver in place, we are happy to help you obtain the required paperwork.


How much is each annual assistance grant?

Once your application is complete, you are eligible to receive a grant of $600 towards basic living expenses or medical expenses. You may apply your grant towards any combination of our approved expenses.


Is this a one-time grant?

Not necessarily. You are eligible to reapply each year that you are in active treatment.


Can you just give the money to me?

Unfortunately, no. BCEF only writes checks directly to vendors to insure that the money is applied to rent, utilities or medical expenses. If we paid you directly, you would have to report our funds as “income,” which could impact your public benefits.


My family member has loaned me money to help me with my bills. Can you help me pay them back?

No. But if you share a household with that family member, we can pay your portion of the rent and/or shared utilities.


I have decided to treat my breast cancer with alternative medicines. Do I still qualify?

Yes. We do still require proof of current diagnosis from a qualified physician but BCEF does not restrict our funds according to your choice of treatment.


If I receive assistance from BCEF, will people know that I have breast cancer?

We maintain the strictest confidentiality standards. BCEF never reveals a client’s name without express written consent. Assistance checks do not say “Breast Cancer Emergency Fund.” They only list your name and payment information.


I’ve already used my annual grant this year but I am facing another financial crisis. What do I do now?

CALL US! We can’t guarantee additional funds will be available but our mission is to help when you need us most. We may require proof that the emergency is imminent: for instance, a shutoff or termination notice; a past due bill or eviction notice. We will try to work with you or refer you to other resources.


“Being a part of the BCEF program is so very uplifting and helpful. They will pull you out of the rut that you are in despite the disease that you are battling.”


Janet Chevalier, BCEF Client