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Breast cancer keeps fewer people from their work than years ago

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Awareness around breast cancer is likely at an all-time high in the U.S. With Breast Cancer Awareness month just behind us, the threat of the disease is fresh in all of our minds. Cancer is more than a reason for football players to wear pink; it is a life-changing condition for those who survive it.

Earning a living by going to work is something that many take for granted. When someone has breast cancer, depending on the stage and severity, it can most certainly keep her from her job. Research from 2009 shows that more women are returning to work after collecting short-term disability insurance compared to years prior. Why would that be?

One theory is that current treatments are more effective at getting patients healthier and ready to work again. Also, early detection is more common now and can prevent breast cancer from getting so serious that it would keep a patient too sick to work and, therefore, in need of long-term disability leave and benefits.

Those whose cancer is perhaps more serious or more difficult to treat and go on long-term disability insurance are not as likely to return to work. The theory behind that trend is that due to improved treatments, fewer people need long-term coverage, but the fewer remaining who do have more serious, complex cancers that keep them disabled for significant lengths of time.

Living with and battling breast cancer must be extremely stressful and emotional, not just for the patient but for her family as well. For those who have paid for short-term and/or long-term disability insurance, those benefits can provide them at least some comfort during a time of instability.

Insurance companies, however, could find a reason to deny a disability claim. Our law firm handles denied claims in order to try to bring a sense of stability to our clients' lives again.

Source: Daily Finance, "More breast cancer survivors returning successfully to work after short term disability leave," Oct. 4, 2012

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