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Topic: Anyone gone on short-term disability during chemo?

Forum: Chemotherapy - Before, During and After — Regimens, side effects, and support from others going through chemo.

Posted on: Jun 30, 2007 08:26PM

krzewina wrote:

I will be starting ACT in a few weeks after I complete another surgery. I would like to stay on disability for chemo -- does anyone have experience with this being approved? thanks!

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Posts 1 - 13 (13 total)

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Jun 30, 2007 08:41PM MissShapen wrote:

I have been on STD just about all year. I had a lumpectomy in January, followed by a mastectomy in February, and then started chemo in March. I have been approved until August 14... I did run out of FMLA and am now on ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). My company wants me to stay out until my radiation is over.

Disability is definitely available for folks going through chemo.

Good luck!

Miss S

"Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."

Dx 11/9/2006, IDC, <1cm, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, 7/31 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Jun 30, 2007 09:41PM tooyoungtohavebc wrote:

Hi there
I went on STD during chemo. After 4 treatments of AC and then 2 of taxotere, I was wiped out. So I went out for about 5 weeks and I needed it. The time flew by. Doc approved everything. If I had wanted more time I am sure he would have approved.
Dx 2005, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IV, Grade 3, 1/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jul 1, 2007 02:07AM shrink wrote:

I have been on STD since starting my chemo on June 14. However, I feel well enough to have continued to work. But no one knows how they will react. Also, my job involved extenstive travel and visits to hospitals and doctors offices. I didn't want to be exposed to germs. I need to build some structure into my life because I'm getting bored. I don't miss working at all though. I will be taking LTD as well since the radiation will be every day for 5 or 6 weeks.

Dx 5/23/2007, IBC, 6cm+, Stage IIIc, Grade 3, 21/21 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jul 1, 2007 02:39AM rosebud1962 wrote:

I have been on STD since Feb and will be returning to for in July. I've been of due to the fact that my Doctor told me I couldn't work. rosebud

www.rosechemo.blogspot.com

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Jul 1, 2007 07:34AM HollyHopes wrote:

I, too, have been on STD. I had just started a new job a month before I got diagnosed so I didn't qualify for FMLA or have any accrued PTO. My STD could go on throughout radiation (which I start in a week or so), but the twelve weeks of unpaid leave that my employer approved is up at the end of July - I am planning to return to work on July 9th and work throughout rads.

Check out the EDD website for all the info and forms you need for STD. Best of luck.

lumpectomy/dose dense AC &T/35 rads/7 boosts...treatment completed 8/31/07...reconstruction surgery 5/14/09 and 9/8/10!

Dx 2/7/2007, IDC, 1cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jul 1, 2007 10:36AM luckymel wrote:

I worked all through chemo, almost - three months of AC and 10 weeks of taxol, and did great - then all of a sudden, with just two weeks to go, I was wiped out, totally, could not work another day. So I went on STD then (that was early April) and am still off. Was nearly back to normal when I had my mastectomy in early June, and am now almost recovered from that, but still have my diep in the works, and just found out Friday that I may need radiation. The way it works, I get no STD pay for the first six weeks, so I guess I'm going to have to stay off until all is done, although I do miss working. But not sure we can take the financial hit of six weeks of no income again. All my PTO time is gone.

I'd like to know whether it is legitimate to be on STD when all you're doing is radiation - anyone have experience with that? I'm not entirely back to normal after chemo and surgery, and I'm afraid that if I go back and try to work during radiation, I'll crash again. On the other hand, I don't want to look like I'm trying to get away with something, or abuse the system. I'd appreciate any input on this.

Mel

Dx 10/10/2006, IDC, 3cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 4/17 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jul 1, 2007 12:46PM wayover20 wrote:

Hi everyone....Hi Mel! I had my mastectomy on January 9th and used up all my PTO (only about 3 weeks) and I immediately put the paperwork in for STD that did kick in right on time---feb 8th. It's 26 weeks long if I need it.
I am sole provider for me and my daughter and it was important to start the STD paperwork even though I didn't know how I'd react to chemo. I just knew I had to cover that base in case, and boy sure glad I did because AC kicked my behind and this week is my last of 12 taxols and today I feel like I was run over by a mack. I'm am going back to work July 17th to a wonderful boss who has held my spot for me all this time. I am a nurse in a very busy outpatient surgery center and I KNEW I would be ineffective but they waited on me.
As far as approval goes, I had no problem with my oncologist taking care of everything. I just took in the paperwork and they filled it out and faxed it out. The form asked what am I NOT able to do and the dr. spelled it out. My main problem was/is high levels of fatigue so anything that would make it worse, she wrote it out on the form. The STD company has asked for periodic updates from my dr but I think it's just protocol.
Mel, I don't see why you wouldn't qualify since radiation has it's own side effects (mainly fatigue). Back in '04 I had a lumpectomy and radiation and I remember also being so physically wiped out that I did my 12hr shifts on F-Sat-Sun so I could be off all week as I didn't have STD back then. Remember what you told me, to take care of myself first....now is YOUR time to be kind to yourself. We didn't ask for this and darn it if we have to use our "benefits" then so be it.

Pat

Dx 8/3/2008, ILC, 6cm+, Stage IV, 0/17 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jul 1, 2007 06:48PM lauri wrote:

I was off work from the day of my first surgery for 11-1/2 months (STD which switched to LTD at 6 months) -- doctor had no problem certifying me. On some days I *could* have worked, but on others I couldn't get out of bed -- and since we didn't know ahead of time which would be which there was no way to schedule my work coverage so it was easier for all concerned for me to just be out of the office until I was finished with chemo, radiation and physical therapy (for side effects of chemo) The California STD people seem to understand about cancer treatment -- other insurers may have different requirements.

From the ashes of disaster grow the roses of success

Dx 3/8/2006, ILC, 6cm+, Stage IIIb, Grade 2, 11/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 1, 2007 11:59PM krzewina wrote:

Thank you for all the good information -- I have an interesting situation that my employment is based in California, but I work out of my house in Washington State. I just talked to another woman tonight in my neighborhood who went on STD last year during her treatments and had the same onc ... hopefully this will all work out as I know that if I'm working, I will short change taking care of myself!

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Jul 2, 2007 05:20AM joanne_elizabeth wrote:

I am working at home, often.
My concern about STD is that it makes you a target when they want to fire people. There are no job protections in the US unless you are union or gov't. That worries me.

Joanne_elizabeth

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Jul 7, 2007 02:37PM konakat wrote:

I'm in a non-union, private sector company and have so far been able to claim STD for the chemo day Friday and following Monday off while working the rest of the days. Apparently the insurance considers it the same STD claim if the days off are within 14 days of each other.

Re. workers rights, 2 good resources are:

http://www.cancerandcareers.org/
http://www.patientadvocate.org/

I also found out that the social worker where I get my chemo is a goddess of working through insurance issues -- maybe that might be available where you go. ALso the American Cancer Society should be able to point you to some resources. It is scary though -- like we don't have enough to think about!!

Elizabeth's Mantra: When in doubt, eat cake. When you haven't a clue, add ice cream. Elizabeth's Mets: Liver, bones, brain (yuck), and lungs (more yuck).

Dx 5/2007, ILC, 3cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 13/19 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jul 8, 2007 04:58AM MargaretB wrote:

I was off all during my chemo even though I could have probably worked. Right before the last chemo treatment I was switched from STD to LTD - since I was having more surgery and didn't want to reopen another STD case. This allowed me to go back to work part-time until after my last surgery yet not have to have the wait time reopening a new case. CA told me as long as I didn't work my normal amount of hours, I could keep my case open.

Margaret

Dx 12/23/04, Bilateral w/tram 3/10/05, DD chemo 5/12/05, finished 6/26/05

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Jul 11, 2007 04:41PM Kate0574 wrote:

I think that it depends on the state yo ulive in so I can only speak for CA, I have been out since the date I was diagnosed 3/9/07 and will return on 9/4/07, worked out well as my work gave me a 6 month leave of abs no questions asked and as far a CA law, you can not be denied state dis if the dr writes you out, and you have paid into it.... it is your time to take so take it... helps with recovery I think, I have done ok so far, only two more to go

Kate

3/30/07 Right mast. stage IIB 4 cm, 3 pos nodes
Dx 3/9/2007, DCIS, 4cm, Stage IIb, Grade 3, 3/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-