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Information about all aspects of finances affected by a serious health condition. Includes income sources such as work, investments, and private and government disability programs, and expenses such as medical bills, and how to deal with financial problems.
Information about all aspects of health care from choosing a doctor and treatment, staying safe in a hospital, to end of life care. Includes how to obtain, choose and maximize health insurance policies.
Answers to your practical questions such as how to travel safely despite your health condition, how to avoid getting infected by a pet, and what to say or not say to an insurance company.

Breast Cancer: Post Treatment: 6 Months Plus: At Work

Think Ahead "just in case"

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 If you have a choice of health insurance policies, choose one from the point of view of a person with cancer (Survivorship A to Z shows you how in our Cancer Health Plan Evaluator).

Look at your employer benefits to increase them when possible.

  • Each year you may be able to pick a new health insurance policy. Pick the best one from the point of view of a person with cancer.
  • Take Disability and Long Term Care Insurance if they are offered.
  • Take life insurance. Increase the death benefit on any policies you have. Even people with a health condition can usually do this once a year.
  • Learn how to maximize time off using your employer's benefits such as Sick Leave and your rights under laws such as the Family Medical Leave Act.
  • If your employer doesn't offer the benefits you need, consider changing jobs, or even careers. Your health history is not relevant to a job search. Only what you are capable of doing now. (See "To Learn More.")


    Discrimination is difficult to prove. Just because you didn't get a raise or a particular job does not necessarily mean you were discriminated against. If you ever do feel as you have been discriminated against, it helps to have a record that was made at the time (a "contemporaneous record.")

    • Start keeping a journal of everything that happens at work that could possibly indicate discrimination. 
    • Include the good things that happen, such as your boss telling you that you are doing a good job.
    • For more information, see the document in "To Lern More."

    Increase available cash

    While you are employed, you likely receive credit card offers in the mail. Consider taking the cards. Taking the cards is not the same as using them - except to the minimum extent needed to keep them in force. Credit will be valuable if your breast cancer returns or if another type of cancer appears.

    Sock as much money as you can into tax deferred savings accounts such as a 401(k) or a Health Savings Plan. Create an Emergency+Fund. The key is to put as much cash aside as you can in case of recurrence.

    Prepare in case of disability

    Insurers think of disability as something that happens at a defined moment. In reality, you have some control over whether and when you will be considered to be disabled for purposes of an insurer's programs or insurance such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). To prepare "just in case": 

    • Each time you see your doctor, tell him or her about how your health condition affects your work. Ask the doctor to include this information in your medical record. This information will serve as a record that bolsters your eventual claim. It will also give your doctor a better understanding of how your life is being affected by your health condition.
    • Consider seeing a mental health therapist. In addition to helping during your transition, a diagnosis of a mental condition such as depression can be considered to be a disabling condition in and of itself. 
    • To learn more about Social Security Disability Insurance and related programs, see the documents in "To Learn More."


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