Sometimes women with breast cancer (or other cancers, of course) cannot continue working. There are two general situations in which this can happen: during the phase of surgery and adjuvant treatment and during advanced illness. The resources and possibilities are different. Women who are going through treatment and anticipate finishing active care and resuming their lives may need a break from work. In this case, the possibilities include employer benefits like sick leave and short term disability (which may morph into long term disability if the break is longer) and taking FMLA time. For women with advanced breast cancer, it may become time to permanently stop working. For them, Social Security Disability is an option.
A diagnosis of Stage IV cancer is an automatic qualifier for Social Security Disability. If you have been working and paying into Social Security for a long time, you likely are eligible. The number of required quarters in which you have worked varies depending upon your age, but it is usually available for people who have been in the work world for more than a short time.
Making a decision about applying for SSDI is often very difficult and fraught with feelings. No one likes to think of herself as disabled and leaving work may well mean giving up a huge part of your identity and looking painfully hard at medical realities. It is possible to reverse the decision and return to work if things get better. And it surely is helpful to know about this program and one's options.
This is a good primer from BreastCancer.org about possible disability benefits. If you have private/usually employer-based Disability, you will need to speak with your HR Department for details.
For some women diagnosed with serious cases of breast cancer, working is no longer possible. The subsequent loss of income and medical insurance can wreak havoc on your finances. If you’re facing circumstances such as these, you may be eligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits. These benefits can offset the cost of medical care and basic living needs.
This blog will explain the options available to individuals who have breast cancer and how to submit an application for disability benefits. SSDI and SSI Security Disability benefits are governed and distributed by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The two main benefit programs offered by the SSA include Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
SSDI is an insurance-type program that provides financial assistance to disabled workers and their eligible dependents.
Eligibility for SSDI is determined by a person’s past employment and the amount of Social Security taxes they’ve paid over the course of their career. This program is best suited for older individuals who have worked and paid taxes for a significant period of time. Learn more.
SSI is a needs-based benefit program offered to disabled persons with little to no income. Unlike SSDI, SSI is not contingent upon work credits or employment history.
Read more: http://community.breastcancer.org/blog/breast-cancer-and-social-security-disability-benefits/