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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.
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Colorectal Cancer: Advanced

Seeking Work

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Having advanced colorectal cancer while seeking work adds a traumatic event to an already stressful endeavor.

You may be tempted to speed up medical decisions such as which doctor(s) to use and which treatments to undergo.  However, both of these decisions are important to your long term health and should not be rushed. In fact, as you will see in our document about your medical care, it is advisable to take the time to get a second opinion from a different cancer specialist before starting treatment.

If you will undergo surgery, consider at least getting treatment out of the way before continuing the job search. With surgery, you will likely need full days recuperating while physically not up to par. Your mental ability may be cloudy because of the anesthesia and pain medications.

If you will undergo chemotherapy and/or radiation, ask about how much time off would generally be required if you were working and how treatment would affect you while working. If there will be a major impact, consider getting those treatments out of the way as well before continuing your job search.

With respect to the job you are seeking, keep the following in mind.  

  • If you have health insurance:
    • Do not do anything that would affect your health insurance coverage for your existing situation. For example, do not let it lapse until you have health insurance, and are past any waiting period for coverage.
    • If a new employer offers health insurance: Thanks to a federal law known as HIPAA, if the gap in coverage between your existing or former health insurance that is not greater than 62 days, then the amount of time you had coverage is credited against a new waiting period. A waiting period is the period of time during which you would not be covered for a pre-existing health condition.  If you had your insurance long enough, there is no waiting period for coverage for your situation.”
  • If you do not have health insurance:
    • One of the options to get coverage is to look for an employer with health insurance which covers a pre-existing health condition such as yours with no waiting period or only a short one.
    • The larger the employer, the more likely to have such coverage. For example, a government entity.
    • For additional information about obtaining health insurance, click here.
  • Physically, the only question about work is whether you can do the work now. What may happen to you in the future is not relevant.
  • A prospective employer cannot ask about your health condition thanks to the Americans With Disabilities Act and similar laws. 
  • Experts counsel against disclosing your health condition until you are offered a job.  Whether to tell after accepting the job is up to you. There may not be a choice if you will need an accommodation at work to allow you to take treatments or to do your job.

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