I Have Cancer and Can’t Work, What Can I Do?

Submitted by pec on

If you cannot work due to the effects of cancer, then there are options available to help pay for daily living needs. One of these options is applying for disability benefits which are provided by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to applicants whose cancer prevents them from working for at least 12 months.

Consider Disability Benefits

If your cancer diagnosis prevents you from working for at least 12 months, the SSA may consider you are disabled enough to qualify for SSDI. However, you should have also worked in a job and accumulated enough work credits. Typically, you require 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the past 10 years ending with the year your disability started. However, if you are a younger worker you may still qualify with fewer credits. If the SSA decides you are eligible you may find you have a 5 month wait until you start to receive your benefits.

Find Other Financial Programs That Can Help

One such program is the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) which provides cash assistance to indigenous American families who have dependent children. There is also the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) which provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year.

The FMLA helps employees balance their work and family responsibilities by allowing them to take unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons. Employers must provide an eligible employee with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year for several reasons such as to take care of a close family member such as a spouse, child, or parent who has been diagnosed with a severe medical condition; or when the employee can’t work due to a serious health condition. The employee needs to have worked for their employer at least 12 months or at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months, and work at a location where the company employs 50 or more employees.

I Have Cancer and Can't Work, What Can I Do?

Use Free Services

Many states offer free meals, such as the Meals on Wheels Program, which is available to people over 60 years of age, regardless of income but who are housebound due to an illness or a disability, or have a hard time obtaining food or meals for themselves.

Non-Profit Help

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society offers financial help to cancer patients to help them with the cost of treatment as well as assistance with travel. Their Urgent Need Program also offers financial support to cancer sufferers to help them pay for rent, mortgage, childcare, food, and other essential living expenses.

Get Help With Your SSD Claim

It is never easy knowing where to find financial help when you have been diagnosed with cancer and are unable to work. The first place you could go is the SSA which provides disability benefits to those who are eligible. Fill out the Free Case Evaluation and get connected with an independent attorney who subscribes to the website and may be able to help with your case.