Legal and Financial Navigation During and After Cancer Treatment
Cancer survivors should be aware of the protections they are entitled to when it comes to employment. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects cancer survivors seeking jobs from being discriminated against because of health status, and protects people with jobs from discrimination by their employer due to a cancer diagnosis.
- A potential employer can’t deny you a job based solely on your cancer history
- You are not required to tell a potential employer that you had cancer
- Employers must make accommodations that are within reason for an employee with cancer
Advance Care Planning is important for all survivors, regardless of cancer type, treatment, or stage. Make sure you have completed an Advance Directive Form. This legal document will ensure your family and care team are aware of your medical wishes if you become unable to make your own medical decisions. Return it to your care team or upload it on MyChart to have it added to your Electronic medical record.
Learn more about advance care planning.
Even with health insurance, cancer treatment can be expensive, and can have a lasting financial impact on survivors.
Financial problems faced by cancer survivors include:
- Costs of treatments or medications not covered by insurance linger as debt long after treatment has ended
- Ending of employer-provided health, disability and life insurance benefits if survivors were unable to work while undergoing surgery or treatment
- Difficulty finding a job after treatment that offers health, disability and life insurance benefits
- Household bills that pile up as survivors struggle to keep up with the treatment and medication bills
Explore the following options to help ease any financial issues you may have as a cancer survivor.
- Additional income. Look into Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to see if you qualify.
- Life insurance. Life insurance could be used as a source of cash or to obtain a loan. Keep the life insurance policy if leaving a job. Sometimes it’s possible to sell life insurance policies for a portion of their value. Contact the company to find out more.
- Retirement plans. An employee pension or retirement savings plan might be a source of cash and a way to fund disability income. Read the employee benefits book to find out if this is an option. Retirement funds may be available if you are still employed and meet your plan’s hardship provisions.
Ask your care team to refer you to an oncology social worker or financial navigator if you are having anxiety about bills associated with your cancer treatment.