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Long Term Disability

Long Term Disability

Posted by Essjay on May 3, 2019 4:56 pm

My sick leave entitlement runs out in June, just a few days after I am due to complete my radiation treatment. While I have been able to work a little part-time, I can’t see me being ready for full-time employment by then.

i am grateful for the time - it’s a very generous 6 months at full pay, and we have a Long Term Disability benefit that I can apply for. I received the package on Monday.

The insurers requirements are that the forms are with them 8 weeks before my sick leave entitlement ends, not possible given that I received the forms less than 6 weeks before it ends, and I have to get them completed. There’s my employers statement (he had me write it today), my statement, and information from my family doc, and my medical and radiation oncologists. 

So so the past few days have been spent tracking down phone numbers and fax numbers to send forms to physicians. Firstly, I find it incredible that the medical profession still uses faxes. The idea that they are the safest form of transmitting patient details just doesn’t follow, and as a patient it’s really not that easy to find a fax to use (I went into work especially to do this today). Secondly, actually tracking down numbers was not easy. To get a fax number for my radiation oncologist took 5 phone calls with 3 individuals, and lots of wasted time trying to fax to a phone because the wrong number was given to me in error. 

I’m a fairly intelligent individual, with access to resources like phones, printers, copiers faxes, but not everyone is so lucky. I guess that’s where the Navigators at the cancer centre come in, and I could have asked for help (not easy for me).

I still have to receive the information back from these individuals and submit it (late of course), but step one is done.

And now I’m exhausted - good for nothing for the rest of the day 😴😴😴

Re: Long Term Disability

Posted by ACH2015 on May 3, 2019 5:13 pm

Hi Essjay‍ 

Regardless of the forms being late, its in your best interests for sure to apply.

No doubt you will need to take advantage of those benefits after radiation ends.

Even if you are able to resume work after a recovery period from radiation - gradual and or part time will be your best option, and the LTD can top up your wages.

All the best and hopefully its just a delay in getting the benefit with retroactive payments once the paperwork is processed.

We aren't fortune tellers and I am sure being a little late is not unusual in situations like yours.

Keep well

ACH2015 - Andy.

Re: Long Term Disability

Posted by Essjay on May 7, 2019 6:32 pm

Really useful doctors visit today at my cancer care clinic. My family oncologist who has provided my care under the guidance of my medical oncologist had my forms and wanted to fill them in with me there. All good. He reckons I should try a gradual return to work over the 6 weeks after my radiation is completed. This gives me something to aim for, and a date, which for a planner is awesome!

Even better, he could access all my records so I won’t need the forms from my medical and radiation oncologists, so I can get my LTD package off to the insurers.

Re: Long Term Disability

Posted by Lianne_adminCCS on May 7, 2019 6:47 pm

Essjay‍ nice to hear when the system works efficiently. I did a gradual return to work 3 weeks after rad completion and I found it to be way too early. Hopefully you will find the 6 weeks a better schedule.

Starting to see the finish line....


Re: Long Term Disability

Posted by Tesachi on May 8, 2019 3:58 pm

Thanks so much  Essjay‍ for posting this topic.  I'll finish my radiation treatment in the middle of June 2019 and my sick leave will run out I think end of June or beginning of July.

In the past few days, I was debating whether I should pursue LTD at work as I don't feel I am fully physically and emotionally ready to return to work after I finish my radiation treatment, as I am still on Herceptin treatment, every 3 weeks, until November 2019. 

I attended a patient group info session regarding Returning to Work and learned that when an employee opts to do a gradual return to work, the average time is 8 weeks to do the gradual thing before going full time. I'll make a note to contact the Benefits Administrator for info about LTD and if LTD would top up any unpaid time if I am allowed to work part-time during the remainder of my Herceptin treatment.

I hope you find the best Return to Work plan that suits all your needs.


Tesachi - Teresa


Re: Long Term Disability

Posted by Lianne_adminCCS on May 8, 2019 4:21 pm

Essjay‍ and Tesachi‍ 

I wanted to share this great site with you both called Cancer and Work - https://www.cancerandwork.ca/survivors/

Lots of great info there on returning to work among other topics


Re: Long Term Disability

Posted by Tesachi on May 8, 2019 8:24 pm

Hi Lianne_adminCCS‍!  Thanks a lot for the link!

Tesachi - Teresa

Re: Long Term Disability

Posted by Essjay on May 9, 2019 9:29 am

Hi Tesachi‍ I think you are best off applying. It sounds like you will need LTD for a couple of months like me, and Having it in place will reduce the pressure on you. You absolutely can work part time, and be paid for the rest of your time off LTD.

Thanks for the link Lianne_adminCCS‍ 

Re: Long Term Disability

Posted by Kims1961 on May 9, 2019 10:48 am

Essjay‍ and Tesachi‍   Great post and good advice. I had to go on LTD due to timing of my treatment and was glad I did.  I thought I could return to work during my Herceptin treatments - as that was only once every 3 weeks and side effects were not so bad, but boy was I wrong.  It seemed just as treatment eased up, my body "shut" down.  My oncologist said since treatment is tough on us, sometimes we need more time to recover, so it was nice to not worry on LTD.

For me, I had to remember  that LTD is there for exactly these reasons.  Nice to have this support .  I really wanted to return to work so that my life would be " back to normal" but realized there is a new normal . The  website suggested by Lianne_adminCCS‍  is a great tool to look at all areas of returning to work.

Good luck with your treatment!  Kim

Re: Long Term Disability

Posted by ashcon on May 9, 2019 11:23 am

Essjay‍ and Tesachi‍ 
I would agree with Kims1961‍ . I have read in more than one place that your recovery time, once finished treatment, should be at least equal to, or as much as 3x, that of your treatment time. 
For example, if you underwent treatment for 6 months, you should (if possible) give yourself 6-18 months for recovery, depending on your personal situation. 

That is a good tip about the average time (8 weeks} for a typical gradual back-to-work plan to be in place! 

Re: Long Term Disability

Posted by Essjay on May 15, 2019 12:41 pm

Yeah! I’m approved! They are giving me three months from end of radiation to get back to full time work. Sounds good to me!

Re: Long Term Disability

Posted by Lianne_adminCCS on May 15, 2019 1:08 pm

Great news Essjay‍ !

Re: Long Term Disability

Posted by Aries on May 15, 2019 2:15 pm

Essjay‍  Thanks for this post - I have to apply for LTD soon as my STD is finishing as of mid-June and I am still undergoing treatment. I hope it goes smoothly. I am hoping I can do some modified return to work if I can get my sleep patterns better as my side effects so far have been OK on chemo but I am not sure if and when I can do that so I will still need to be under LTD.

Re: Long Term Disability

Posted by Tesachi on May 18, 2019 11:13 pm

Great news Essjay‍ !!!  😃

Tesachi - Teresa