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LIVE YOUR LIFE WITH CANCER - PRACTICAL /// CHAPTER 77
be) discriminated against due to your diagnosis. You
should enlist their help in finding out what your disability
benefits through work are. Whether you have short-term or
long-term disability coverage can affect your decision to
apply for government disability benefits.
Tips for Working While Getting
Treatment
» Try to plan your treatments so that recovery time does
not interfere with your work schedule. You may choose
later in the day or later in the week to allow for weekend
recovery
» Consider working from home if that is an option from
your employer.
» Don't be afraid to ask people for help. Getting help with
household chores and duties can allow you more energy
for work. Recruit family and friends when you can; they
usually just want to help in any way that they can.
» If you're comfortable sharing information with them,
co-workers can be a great support. They also usually are
eager to help.
» Keep your boss and co-workers (if they are aware)
updated on how your work schedule is going for you.
Keeping communication open is important.
» You will likely be more distracted than usual at work.
Keep a list of job duties and " to-dos " to help you work
and delegate (when necessary) efficiently
» Be kind to yourself. You must come to terms with the
fact that you may not be able to do everything you could
do before your diagnosis. THAT'S OK. Think of it as only
temporary.
Returning to work after you finish
your treatment
So, you took some time off, and now you've beat cancer and
you want to get back to your life from " before. " Now what?
Going back to work can be scary, nerve-racking, and exciting
but there are some important steps to take before diving
headfirst back to work.
» Start talking to your employer about potential
accommodation requests you may need to make. Keep
in mind that sometimes you won't know of specific needs
until you're back to work and performing your regular job
tasks so an open, honest conversation with your manager
will help make your return more comfortable.
» If you have a particularly physically strenuous job, you
may want to request a reduction in physical exertion or
develop a plan with your employer to develop alternative
work responsibilities while you transition back to work.
» Speak with your employer to explore potential nonessential
job duties as this may help reduce the
mental (and potentially physical) strains when you
return to work.
» If it is unclear who you need to speak with if you do
need assistance, it is okay to clarify that information
with your employer.
» If you require additional information about workplace
accommodations, the Job Accommodation Network
(developed by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office
of Disability Employment Policy) provides extensive
information on accommodation. The website is:
askjan.org
What if you can't work during
treatment?
» Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) - The FMLA gives
certain employees the right to take up to 12 weeks of
unpaid, job-protected leave per year while maintaining
group health benefits. You must have
* worked for employer at least 1,250 hours (about 25
hours per week) for at least 12 months
* work at a location where the company employs 50 or
more employees within 75 miles
» Short term and long-term disability - Short-term
disability pays you some portion of your income for
the first few weeks to months you are unable to work;
long-term disability insurance usually starts after a few
months of disability. If you aren't sure if you have this
benefit or how to use, talk to someone from your human
resources department to find out if you qualify and how
you can apply for them.
» If your cancer has made you unable to work, you may
look into applying for disability through the Social
Security Administration. - www.ssa.gov
* Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits:
provides financial help if you/your parent or spouse
have worked long enough and you have a severe
medical condition that prevents you from working
for at least 6-12 months
* Social Security Income (SSI) - SSI provides financial
help to disabled individuals who ALSO have limited
income and assets.
https://www.askjan.org/ http://www.ssa.gov https://fwaya.org/

What Do I Do Now?

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