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Job Loss

mary colleen

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My husband Vic has been at home recovering from brain surgery and brain radiation for the last few months. He went out to his workplace yesterday to discuss coming back part time until he could transition back to full time, and his boss told him that they really "don't have a place" for him anymore due to his medical restrictions.

He lost some of his vision due to the brain tumor, and for now can't quite make it a whole workday without taking a nap. He also has a few other problems, like becoming winded on exertion, and having difficulty with things like reaching overhead or lifting. Still, he would do anything to work a bit, and I know he would work around any limitations if given the chance. Though he won't say it, I know this hurt him quite a bit. I think it also shocked him, since he is a stellar employee and has kept in touch with his boss regularly while out.

Anyway, I assume we will lose his medical insurance. Not sure how the private disability insurance will work now - it's through his employer, though we have paid the full premiums since he took leave from work.

We're fortunate in that I can earn enough to cover us financially, but the insurance issues are really a worry. Both he and our college age daughter are on his group plan.

Aside from the insurance concerns, I feel very badly for my husband - he was blindsided, thinking that his return would be very welcome. The tough part is that he is tired of being home alone all day, has plenty of skills, but just lacks some of the physical abilities he used to have.

I guess I'm just thinking out loud here - not really looking for help or advice. I know that many here here have dealt with these issues themselves, and that this is not unique to us.

I just wish that we lived in a world where insult does not have to be added to injury, especially for the sake of the dollar. As a business person, I understand business needs, but.....I have found that I can always acommodate special needs for good people

if I dig deeply enough.

We'll figure all of this out, I just wanted to put it into words. It seems like a lot is lost to cancer.

Thanks all

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Bummers, Mary, sorry to hear that. It does seem that way too many companies who make such a point of being one happy family and having great employee benefits do a fast Jekyll-Hyde switch when they decide to terminate someone for bottom line considerations. Maybe there's a self-employment opportunity within reach...?



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Im so sorry Mary,The same thing kind of happened to me. I hope you can get him sighned up for disability as soon as possible.You wont be elgible for medicare until he has been on disability for 2 years. I been on cobra so far and it is expensive but some how we get by. For a long time I thought if I could just get back to work everything would return to normal. I quess i was in a form of denial.In a way Im kinda glad my employer made the descion for me. I hope and pray the best for you and your husband.Mile

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Any employment counsellor in your town?

with a BGTA test they could find him

some suitable employment as a start

and from there he could progress with


Must be an association around that looks

out for sectors of rehabilitation for

workers that suffer some sickness and

can still work at a different level.

The insurance is always an issue, companies

are so afraid that their global premium

will increase when the carry one person

with a sickness but reading the fine print

covers a lot of situations, do you have a

copy of the health/sickness insurance policy?

it is worth a good reading.

Check on the disability insurance, premiums

you paid should be a sign that he would be

accepted otherwise why charge them.

Hoping something clear this situation,

hard for your husband to get sick and

now to be kicked down as he is ready

to make his way back at work.

Sending best vibes.


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He needs to apply for his disability insurance if he hasn't already. Hopefully he was on that while he was off work. He should also check into social security disability and apply for that also.

His employer should offer him the chance to pay his insurance premiums himself through COBRA. I am sorry this happened.

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I am so sorry that you and your husband have to go through this. I was reading his history, and he has beaten everything that this disease has thrown at him. It seems so unfair that his employer can't look at little harder to find a way for your husband to keep working for the company. I wish I had some answers for you. Good luck. Shelley

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I was going to suggest SSD (social security disablitiy) also.

There was a show on TV the other day (interviewing a Senator and some Attorney) about people with cancer and that how can people lose there jobs after they have been diagnosed with cancer? It's VERY COMMON and they CAN do it. It's not FAIR but they have legal loop holes.

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Mary Colleen,

I am so sorry this has happened to your husband. I know how you feel because this also happened to me. I worked at a children's hospital (that was part of a large network of hospitals) for 20 years when I was diagnosed. While employed there I lost my mother to lung cancer, my husband suddenly to heart disease, and most recently my eldest son to osteosarcoma (bone cancer) six months before my diagnosis of Stage 4 LC. My employer knew what I had recently gone through because I was a department manager, not just a worker bee. The administrators knew me by name. I attended meetings with them. They were privy to my situation at home. My son was actually treated at our hospital.

When I lost my son I had to assume custody of his children (ages 1 & 3 yrs) because their mother was heavily into drugs. My employer knew all this and yet was unable to provide a job for me. By the way did I mention that the business they were in was health care? Did I also mention that this hospital was part of a large conglomerate - it was not a small rural hospital with no money? Okay sorry for the sarcasm. I just thought that a business that dedicated itself to healthcare would be just a little sensitive to it's employees healthcare issues - but I guess not! I luckily did purchase long term disability through my employer, and have qualified for social security disability. I am continuing my health care insurance and the children's through COBRA - and it is very expensive. I guess I have it better than some others. I hope things work out for you and your family. I will be praying for you.

God Bless,


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If I understand SSDI correctly, they start your disability from the LAST day you worked. I see that he last worked in April. That is only 6 months but that is 6 months sooner to get his medical benifits from SS. This is the way mine was handled. Check with SS and get the claim in the works. Good Luck.

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I'm so sorry for your husband.

What a blow to his emotions that had to be.

Harry hangs on to the fact the he will be able to return to his old job some day too.

(I haven't told him that I pretty much figure they've "let him go", since they've cancelled our insurance already.)

It's something how the companies expect their workers to be loyal, but are the first ones to bail out when the worker has a problem. :(

Hope things get better for you guys.


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Mary Colleen:

I am sorry Vic got such disheartening news about his job. I wonder if his company has a retirement program. Maybe he could get a disability retirement through his company and be able to keep his insurance.

I visited the American’s for Disabilities Act website and it appears that your husband’s company would be in violation of the act. Here is a question and answer page I found at the site:


I can understand how your husband may be reluctant to put himself in an adversarial relationship with the company though. I think that these types of cases may be mediated and end up with some kind of settlement.

Don M

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This just aggrevates me beyond all belief. I feel do terrible that they could do this to you. Here are a couple of thoughts.

Social Security Disability. Takes a couple months to go through, but once it starts, it's a help, as is every little bit you can find.

I know health insurance through SS medicaire you don't qualify until date of first payment of the disability benefit, so that won't help you now, but keep it in mind, in two years, let them pay for it instead of you, that's why we pay into it.

Finally, if you are eligible for benefits through your employer, check and see, your husband losing his job, and insurance qualifies as a life changing event, which means you can pick up your daughter on yours and possibly your husband as well. In some states they can't disqualify you because of pre-existing conditions and your husband may be able to be covered under you insurance.

Hope this helps. Sending positive vibes that this will all work out for you.

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Thanks all - as always, everyone has been very helpful, and there are lots of good tips and suggestions.

I am going to take a few days off from thinking (why do I always suddenly get "tired" and want to take a 3 day nap when these things happen??) and then just get on the necessary research and paperwork to figure all of this out.

I guess in thinking it over, I really wonder if he was too much of a financial load on the company's group health policy - not sure, but I think it's possible.

I think that we sort of looked at his returning to work as a reachable end point that would signal some return to normalcy and wellness. Oh well - removing that in no way impacts his getting well and beating this someday.

Thanks to everyone. I appreciate the help.


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