• Any Help out there when you run out of your sick leave ? How people continue to pay there bills when diagnoset with disease?

    Asked by hallothere on Sunday, February 17, 2013

    Any Help out there when you run out of your sick leave ? How people continue to pay there bills when diagnoset with disease?

    Been really having some bad days , was told I need to have more surgery , they want to get more tissue out of my chest muscle to ensure no cancer cells where left, because the tumor was so deep, now I I also ran out of sick leave and any annual leave I had , and I am fortunate in this country to had some paid leave, most people don't even have that , now I am so disgusted with the American system , I grew up and lived have my life in Germany and their universal healthcare is great ,and i really miss it now . All this XXX what we been told by some people here in America that there are waiting lists is all lies. They healthcare is superior, also their paid sick leave continues until you can go back to work. Last night I spend 6 hrs on the net to find any kind of help for cancer patients . How the H**L do you pay your bills if you get sick in this country ? This is just unbelievable cruel, the motto is the strong survive ! I just had to voice my frustration !!!!

    12 Answers from the Community

    12 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar
      nancyjac

      I understand your frustration. I am a bit confused though about your perceptions. I think the concern that many in the US have about universal health care is that if we had it their would be waiting lists, not that there are waiting lists because we don't have it. I was also born in Germany just after WW2 when things were still rationed there. While it has been a long time since I lived there, I don't recall universal health care paying non medical bills like rent and utilities because one is out of work. What we do have available in the US is both long and short term disability insurance. Some employers provide it as an employee benefit, other people have it as a private individual insurance policy. It will provide money towards non medical bills and living expenses if you are not able to work due to a medical disability.

      over 4 years ago
    • carm's Avatar
      carm

      Hallothere,
      You might try the Patient advocate website at patientadvocate.org. They are listed in the Cure Magazines resource guide as an organization that provides education, legal counseling, and referrals to people regarding managed care, insurance issues, financial issues, job discrimination and debt crisis matters. They offer this service for free. I hope this helps, Carm RN.

      over 4 years ago
    • pressinfwd's Avatar
      pressinfwd

      Try the American Cancer Society website. There are organizations that will assist wth everyday living i.e rent/mortgage, utilities, food, etc.

      over 4 years ago
    • hallothere's Avatar
      hallothere

      The last time I been to Germany was about 5 years ago when my mother passed . I like universal healthcare and American don't know what they are missing ,and there is no waiting list like many of the republicans lying about .
      In Germany I had unlimited paid sick leave and you receive paid sick leave until you well and can go back to work or you get disability .
      I would love to move back but its easier said then done. So what do you do if your job is not providing short term disability over here ? I guess you will have to file for bankruptcy.
      Sad to say , but the USA is the only developed country in the world where you can loose everything you own when you get sick !!!

      over 4 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar
      karen1956

      hallothere....my children live in Ontario Canada and there is Universal health care, but it is not without its faults (and that is from my children)......It is very difficult situation when you are sick....here and in many other countries as well.....Talk to the patient advocate at your hospital or cancer center to find out what resoureces are available to you.....

      over 4 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar
      SueRae1

      You may want to apply for disability. NY state, where I live offers short term disability for 6 months, the company you work for automatically puts you on it. You can also apply for SSI disability, if you do I recommend that you you a service to help you prepare you documents. I used Freedom Disability, I contacted them shortly after July 4 2011, and I received my first payment at the end of August which included 13 months pay payment. The cost $6,000 or 25% or all back pay which ever is less - SS pays them directly from what you are owed.

      Here's a link to a website that lists organizations that offer grants, etc for people with cancer and other chronic illness.
      https://www.pparx.org/en/prescription_assistance_programs/co-payment_programs#CC

      over 4 years ago
    • Lindy's Avatar
      Lindy

      We do have an extra burden in this country, on the one hand we are not taking a number and waiting in line for care, but, can we afford the care? I can't afford Tykerb, $1,600 a month on Medicare. Told them I would just die faster, harder. It has this enormous co-pay because it is a pill and not an infusion. Bite me, maybe. You are getting some good advice here, get an advocate to help you if necessary. Even a cancer support group is going to have someone who can stand with you through the process.

      over 4 years ago
    • Lindy's Avatar
      Lindy

      Oh, when my husband was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer 16 years ago, his work mates donated sick leave to him to get him through the period to disability pay. We were so grateful. Never know from what source comes miraculous aid. Some folks have moved in with friends or family while going through bumpy times, I am working on dispersing the bulk of my personal worldly goods so I can move into something small and easier to maintain. We do what we have to/need to do.

      over 4 years ago
    • hallothere's Avatar
      hallothere

      Life is easier with Universal healthcare and nobody has to take a # or wait in line ,that is all bad propaganda from the right ! You can concentrate on getting well , not about how to pay your bills and to survive this tragedy !

      over 4 years ago
    • KFH's Avatar
      KFH

      I would also recommend a resource for those with breast cancer diagnosis to check with your local Susan G. Komen affiliate. They fund programs that are specifically meant to help people in your situation. There are 2 affiliate in SC - you can find contact info and links to them at http://ww5.komen.org/Affiliates.aspx. Wishing all the best as you deal with the challenges and your upcoming surgery. You WILL get through this. Best, Karen

      over 4 years ago
    • Chrissy's Avatar
      Chrissy

      I was told by my employers if I didn't come back to work in October of 2012 that I would be giving up my position at work. My sick leave and FMLA were all used up. Couldn't return to work because I was just released from the hospital due to complications from Taxotere infusion. I applied for SSI disability by myself online with help from my doctor and patient advocate at my cancer care center and received my first payment first week of Dec. It is not quite as much as I would have earned when I was employed but it helps pay the bills and it's one less worry for me and my family. Ask your oncologist where to start. I was also told they tend to push cancer patients' cases through rather quickly. I live in Indiana. Good luck and please don't stress, there is help out there!

      over 4 years ago
    • AlizaMLS's Avatar
      AlizaMLS

      Dear hallothere,

      Hi. I'm Aliza, a BC patient and Medical Librarian (retired) who offers advice (non-medical), referrals and research to folks on this site and elsewhere.

      I know the European system very well because, well, let's say, the brother of a close friend worked for a News agency that has branches all over the world, worked here in the States (he's American), was sent to Belgium where he stayed for years and loved it, and was eventually sent back to the states. In Brussels he had 60 days of paid vacation. In Ca., he had barely 3 weeks. He opted to go back to Brussels even though he had a new granddaughter and his wife preferred to stay here (they visited each other frequently). Draw whatever conclusions you like...;)

      Re your situation, there's the option of FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) **depending on the size of your company. If your co. has 100 or more employees they must (underline must) offer you this option, which means 12 weeks of unpaid leave in order to attend to your own serious medical issues or that of a close relative (it does not have to be a person with whom you live [can be your mom, dad, etc.). If you belong to a Union, your Union may offer disability while you are on FMLA (it will not be a large stipend, but you will have to contact them to advise them of when you're taking FMLA).

      If your company has less than 100 employees they are not obligated to offer you FMLA at all. The reason for this is that this is regarded as a small company and you then are viewed as an essential employee. Viewed as such, they cannot afford to keep your position (or qn equivalent one) available for you through FMLA. This is the way things work here. You're right as was my friend's brother in many respects. I'm fairly well informed about FMLA because I know one of the writers personally (he's one of the last polio victims and retired from a state government job in California).

      I don't know if this helps you much except that it offers an explanation of FMLA and how it works. I think some of the other folks on the site have offered you excellent advice re options for you and I advise you to look into them further.

      If you have any questions for me or anything I can research for you, I'm happy to do so. Please message me or email me offsite.

      Wishing you the best outcome,
      AlizaMLS

      about 4 years ago

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