Cancer and the Law: Important
Almost everyone going through cancer treatment has some legal questions. They can be major, related to disability eligibility, insurance questions, concerns about discrimination at work. Or they can be smaller and, for the time anyway, worries more about "what ifs". The fine resource and website Cancer and Careers just sent this short summary in their monthly newsletter. It is easy to subscribe to this email bulletin, and I suggest that you do so: Cancer and Careers [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Legal-ese Made Easy
Nearly everyday Cancer and Careers hears from someone trying to understand the law and how it relates to cancer, read below for some of the information we share on this vital topic:
Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) - Mandates that (most) employers grant an eligible employee up to 12 work weeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for medical reasons. Often overlooked fact, the FMLA can be taken in increments as small as an hour at a time.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) - This federal law prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities (cancer is considered a disability). In 2009, Amendments went into effect that expanded the coverage of the ADA, see here.
Short- and Long-term disability - These could provide additional job protections, allowing you to take time off while keeping your job. Their availability depends on state laws, company policy and social security.
The Cancer Legal Resource Center - www.CancerLegalResourceCenter.org or 1-866-843-2572. Provides free and confidential information on cancer-related legal issues, including health insurance, access to health care, navigating managed care, employment, estate planning, disability insurance, and more.
LawHelp.org, www.lawhelp.org, provides basic legal information to people on low incomes. Links to resources in every state, on a state-by-state basis are included.
Think local, not national. Bar Associations, especially in larger cities, typically coordinate pro bono work. Calling your local bar association and tell them exactly your issue and ask for a referral. Some even have special projects or sections that can help you.
For more legal information and resources, check out this article on our website: http://cancerandcareers.org/