Be the Boss Over Cancer

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in March and have been undergoing treatments (mastectomy, chemo & radiation) for the last 8 months. The company that I'm working for provides employees with a disability policy. So, I was allowed to work as I could and my income was/is subsidized by the disability income. I completed my radiation last week and was told my my oncologists that I could probably return to work part time after the first of the year, depending on how I was recovering. Due to office changes and the economy, my company will be laying me off before I'm able to go back to work. This isn't such a bad thing, because it was a very high stress job, and I don't want to have that kind of work environment during my recovery, or possibly never again. I'd like some advice on how this all works - once January rolls around and I'm cleared for work, will my disability decrease? Will I qualify for unemployment, at least partial? How can I search for a part time job to carry me as I recover? My insurance is provided by my job, so I will have to elect Cobra, but the cost is a little overwhelming ($1500 monthly), are there other options? I'm sure there is more information I will need as I go through this next part of my journey. Thanks, Linda


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  • Alice McKenney

    Alice McKenney on Nov 15, 2010

    Cancer and Careers Staff Comment:

    Hi Linda,

    I also recommend that you contact the Cancer Legal Resource Center, we work a lot with them and they should be able to advise you on options for insurance other than COBRA. Their contact info is below.


    Toll Free: (866) THE-CLRC or (866) 843-2572

    Phone: (213) 736-1455

    TDD: (213) 736-8310

    Fax: (213) 736-1428




  • Cameron P.

    Cameron P. on Mar 9, 2011

    Hi Linda,

    Bravo to you for realizing what's best for your emotional strength.  A stressful job is not high on the list of cures!

    My mother is fighting her second bout of cancer, so I can say with much empathy that I wish you the best.  You asked a few questions in your post, and I wonder if you got the answers you needed?

    You asked whether your disability
    would decrease -- are you referring to disability insurance?  Typically insurance is paid out at a particular percentage of your last salary, and it would not change until your circumstances changed.  If you are laid off, you can typically qualify for unemployment.  As for health insurance, I suggest looking it up in your preferred search engine and finding a site that pits insurers against one another to bid -- just don't let your COBRA lapse for any reason! 

    Best wishes,

    Cameron Powell

    Head Coach

    Feroce Coaching

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