Undergoing prostate cancer treatment and dealing with its side effects can require a lot of time away from work. Since money and health insurance are two pressing concerns during prostate cancer treatment, the patient’s job becomes an important consideration.
Missing work after prostate cancer diagnosis:
Whether the patient undergoes surgery, radiation or hormone therapy to treat prostate cancer, there are side effects of each that may require leave from work. The patient will require time off from his work to have surgery and recover. While radiation treatment appointments would need long periods of leave from work.
If the patient is worried about missing work for such long periods, every employer or organization has some sort of medical leave rules. The patient can choose the type of leave that best suits him to take care of his health.
The Family and Medical Leave Act is a federal law that allows an employee to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave from work to take care of one’s own health or anyone in the family. There are some conditions to such leave. The employer must have 50 or more full time employees. The person wanting leave must also be a full time employee and have worked for at least a year for availing FMLA.
Disability Pay :
The employer or the state government may offer short term or long term disability pay. This program allows the person/employee to receive a certain percentage of his pay even if he is unable to work because of health condition. It is for the patient to find out if his organization or employer offers disability pay.
Disability insurance policies can be brought independently through an insurance agent or financial planner. The patient needs to manage health care bills and paper works related to prostate cancer treatment for insurance purposes. He has to keep a record of his doctor’s visit, hospital visits, treatment dates and medications that he has received.
Ask for co-worker support:
The patient may find his co-workers as a source of support during and after prostate cancer. Accordingly the patient can share about his situation as much as he wishes to.
Supportive working environment attributes a good portion of the patient’s emotional and health healing.
Investigating work related benefits early after diagnosis and keeping communication open at work place keeps peace of mind.