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Your Journey>Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer > Finances and employment with metastatic breast cancer

Finances and employment with metastatic breast cancer

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A metastatic breast cancer diagnosis can bring concerns about extra costs, your financial well-being, and your job. On these pages you can learn how to get ahead of unexpected medical and living expenses, how to understand and get the most out of your health insurance, and ways to keep costs down. We’ll also share tips on navigating workplace issues such as disclosing your diagnosis, privacy concerns, taking time off for treatment, and knowing your legal rights.

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Before my diagnosis, I had finally gotten my teaching certificate to continue working for the school district. It was a passion I had been working so hard for. My life turned upside down when I could no longer do the job I loved.

Lordes, LBBC Fund Recipient

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Do I pose any health risks to my coworkers while working during cancer treatment?

Cancer is not contagious and you do not pose any health risks to the people around you during breast cancer treatment.

What are my options when facing cancer discrimination in the workplace?

See if you are eligible for legal protections from the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Bring these to your employer. If they are not responsive, seek a lawyer who works in cancer-related issues for support.

What financial assistance is available and how can I apply?

Organizations like The Pink Fund provide financial assistance to people diagnosed with breast cancer. Consider what you need help paying for, how quickly you need help, and documents you may need to provide about your financial status. A social worker can guide you to organizations that can help and to help gather documents you need from your medical provider.

Why does my insurance cover screening mammograms but not diagnostic mammograms?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires insurance plans to cover screening mammograms as preventative care, with no out-of pocket costs to you. Diagnostic mammograms follow-up on specific concerns or a previous cancer diagnosis and are not considered preventative.

Does a cancer diagnosis make me eligible for SNAP benefits (food stamps)?

Eligibility for SNAP benefits is based on income and resources. A breast cancer diagnosis alone does not qualify you for SNAP benefits, but if it affects your employment or other assets, you may become eligible.

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Reviewed and updated: August 15, 2019

Reviewed by: LBBC Staff

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Living Beyond Breast Cancer is a national nonprofit organization that seeks to create a world that understands there is more than one way to have breast cancer. To fulfill its mission of providing trusted information and a community of support to those impacted by the disease, Living Beyond Breast Cancer offers on-demand emotional, practical, and evidence-based content. For over 30 years, the organization has remained committed to creating a culture of acceptance — where sharing the diversity of the lived experience of breast cancer fosters self-advocacy and hope. For more information, learn more about our programs and services.

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