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Can I get Long-Term Disability for Colon Cancer?

Our best answer is “most likely”. If your physical or psychological symptoms following the diagnosis of colon cancer prevent you from performing the substantial duties of your own occupation, then it is likely that – with the right medical support – you will qualify to receive long-term disability benefits.

What is Colon Cancer?

Colon cancer, primarily occurring in the large intestine, is predominantly classified into different types based on the nature of the cells and the genetic factors involved. The most common type of colon cancer is adenocarcinoma, which develops from the cells lining the inside surface of the colon. This form of cancer accounts for the vast majority of colon cancer cases.

In addition to adenocarcinoma, other, rarer forms of colon cancer may arise due to different cellular origins or genetic factors. For instance, Lynch syndrome, also known as hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC), is a type of hereditary colorectal cancer identified over a century ago. This syndrome represents a condition where the tendency to develop specific types of colon cancer is inherited within families.

Each type of colon cancer can have different characteristics, treatment responses, and prognosis. The treatment and management strategies are typically tailored according to the specific type of colon cancer, its stage, and the patient’s overall health. The diverse nature of colon cancer underlines the importance of accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment approaches to effectively manage the disease.

Colon Cancer and Employment

The diagnosis and subsequent management of colon cancer can profoundly impact an individual’s work life, often leading to financial stress that adds another layer of difficulty to an already challenging situation. The physical and emotional toll of the disease, coupled with the demands of treatment – which may include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation – can significantly reduce a person’s ability to maintain regular employment. Fatigue, pain, and other treatment side effects can limit work capacity, while frequent medical appointments necessitate time away from the job.

This reduction in work hours or the need for extended leave can lead to a decrease in income at a time when medical expenses are likely to increase. This financial strain, in addition to coping with a serious health condition, can be immensely stressful. It’s a situation that calls for compassion and understanding, as individuals navigate the complexities of maintaining their health, job, and financial stability.

Here is a more detailed outlook on how a diagnosis of colon cancer can interrupt a person’s ability to maintain employment:

Physical Symptoms: The symptoms of colon cancer, like fatigue, pain, and digestive issues, can make it hard to maintain regular work hours or perform physical tasks.

Treatment Side Effects: Treatments for colon cancer, such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, can cause side effects like nausea, weakness, and a compromised immune system. These side effects can make it difficult for a person to work, especially in physically demanding jobs.

Frequent Medical Appointments: Regular doctor visits, treatment sessions, and follow-up appointments can require significant time away from work.

Recovery Periods: Post-surgery and treatment recovery periods often necessitate time off from work. This recovery can vary in length depending on the individual’s health and the type of treatment received.

Long-term Effects and Disabilities: In some cases, colon cancer or its treatment can result in long-term health issues or disabilities that may permanently affect a person’s ability to work.

Emotional and Mental Health Impact: The diagnosis of colon cancer is a life-altering event that extends far beyond physical pain and suffering – it often leads to very significant mental health challenges. It is not uncommon for individuals diagnosed with colon cancer to experience heightened levels of anxiety and depression. These psychological responses are natural and understandable, given the uncertainty and severity of the disease. The fear of the unknown, concerns about treatment outcomes, changes in body image, and potential disruptions to daily life and plans can all contribute to these mental health difficulties. Moreover, the stress of managing treatment schedules, side effects, and the impact on family and work life can exacerbate these feelings.

Colon Cancer Symptoms

Recognizing the symptoms of colon cancer is essential for early diagnosis. It is important to note that symptoms may vary depending on the stage of cancer. Some common signs of colon cancer include:

Changes in Bowel Habits – such as persistent diarrhea, constipation, or a change in the consistency of stool, can be a warning sign of potential colon cancer. These symptoms, particularly when they last for an extended period, warrant medical attention as they could indicate changes occurring in the colon.

Blood in the Stool – which may appear bright red or dark in color, is a symptom that could potentially indicate colon cancer. This sign, especially if recurrent or accompanied by other changes in bowel habits,

Abdominal Discomfort, Cramps, or Pain – can be indicative of potential colon cancer. These symptoms, especially when they do not resolve over time, may signal changes in the colon.

Unexplained Weight Loss – particularly when it occurs without any changes in diet or exercise habits, can be a symptom of potential colon cancer. This symptom, often accompanied by other digestive changes, should be promptly investigated by a healthcare professional to determine its cause.

Fatigue or Weakness – which are not alleviated by rest, can be indicative of potential colon cancer. These symptoms, particularly if they occur without an apparent cause, warrant medical evaluation as they might reflect the underlying impact of the cancer on the body’s systems.

Iron deficiency – which can manifest as anemia, is a potential symptom of colon cancer, especially if it occurs without a clear cause. This deficiency might result from chronic, slow bleeding within the colon, which is not always visible, leading to a gradual decrease in the body’s iron stores.

It is worth mentioning that these symptoms can also be connected to various other conditions, making an accurate diagnosis crucial.

Colon Cancer Diagnosis

Early detection of colon cancer significantly enhances the chances of successful treatment. Various diagnostic methods are employed to identify and assess colon cancer, including:

Screening tests: These tests aim to detect abnormalities or potential risk factors before symptoms are present. Common screening options include colonoscopies, fecal occult blood tests, and virtual colonoscopies.

Biopsy: If a colorectal abnormality is detected during a colonoscopy, a biopsy is performed to analyze the tissue and confirm the presence of cancerous cells.

Imaging tests: Imaging techniques such as computed tomography (CT scans) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be used to determine the extent of cancer and identify any metastasis.Blood tests: Certain blood markers, such as carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), may be elevated in colon cancer patients. While not diagnostic on their own, these markers may aid in monitoring response to treatment.

It is crucial to consult with a qualified healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate diagnostic approach based on individual circumstances.

How can I get Long-Term Disability for Colon Cancer?

When diagnosed with colon cancer, individuals may face extended periods of medical treatment, recovery, and potential limitations in daily functioning. Under certain circumstances, individuals may qualify for long-term disability benefits which can provide financial support during this challenging period.

How do you qualify? 

The simple way to explain it is that you need to meet the definition of “total disability” as set out in your long-term disability insurance. Total disability is set out in two ways – in terms of own occupation and any occupation.

During the “own occupation” period, which is typically during the first two years of disability, your policy would provide you payment of monthly income replacement benefits which are calculated as a previously determined percentage of your income. This means that you will receive disability benefits if you are unable to complete the substantial duties of your own occupation.

After 24 months, there’s often a shift to the “any occupation” standard. This doesn’t mean any job in the economy, but rather any job that you’re reasonably suited for based on your experience, education, and training.

It’s important to understand that while the “own occupation” test is more specific to your job, the “any occupation” test is broader and takes into account your overall capabilities and potential employment opportunities given your skills and experience. This change can significantly impact your eligibility for continuing LTD benefits. If you’re approaching this juncture in your LTD coverage, it’s advisable to consult with our disability lawyers to understand how this change might affect your situation and to prepare for any potential reassessment of your claim.

How can I get CPP Disability for Colon Cancer?

Similarly, if your colon cancer symptoms prevent you from working, you may qualify for CPP Disability Benefits if you meet specific criteria set by the Canadian government. These criteria are designed to provide financial support to Canadians who are unable to work due to a “severe and prolonged disability”. Here are several points

Age and Contribution Requirements: The individual must be under the age of 65 and have made sufficient contributions to the Canada Pension Plan. The contributions are generally required in four of the last six years, or three of the last six years if the individual has 25 or more years of contributions​​.

Nature of Disability: The disability must be both severe and prolonged. “Severe” means that the individual has a mental or physical disability that regularly stops them from doing any type of substantially gainful work. “Prolonged” implies that the disability is long-term and of indefinite duration, or is likely to result in death​​​​.

Income Replacement Aspect: The CPPD benefits are intended as partial income replacement for eligible CPP contributors who are under 65 and have a disability as defined in the Canada Pension Plan legislation​​

Calculation of Benefits: The monthly disability pension amount is based on your average adjusted earnings and the number of years of contribution to the CPP. This amount is adjusted each year to account for the cost of living​​.

Application Process: Applying for CPP disability benefits involves completing an application form and providing supporting medical documentation. The process can be complex, and it’s crucial to ensure that you provide all required information to avoid delays or denial of benefits​​.

Additional Support Programs: Approved CPP disability benefits also provide access to other support programs like the CPP Survivor’s Pension and the CPP Children’s Benefit, offering further financial assistance to the disability recipient’s family​​.

It’s important to note that the approval process can take time, and not all applications are approved!

Suffer from Colon Cancer and Denied Long-Term Disability Benefits?

Our long-term disability lawyers are here to help you secure the disability benefits that you need and deserve so that you can focus on your recovery without added financial strain. If you or a loved one is living with colon cancer and has been denied long-term disability insurance benefits – or – your long-term disability benefits have been wrongfully terminated, contact us today. We are here to help you secure the disability benefits you deserve so that you can focus on your recovery without added financial burdens. Our experienced colon cancer disability lawyers have successfully represented thousands of clients, and we look forward to helping you.

Reach out today and see how our colon cancer disability lawyers at Camporese Lalande Disability Lawyers can help you with your claim. 

  • Call us for free no matter where you are in Ontario, or Nationwide at 1-844-4-DISABILITY.
  •  You can send us a confidential email through our website – and we would be happy to explain your Long-Term Disability rights and legal options to you, at no cost.
  •  You can inquire through any form on our website;
  •  You can CHAT live 24/7 and your discussion will be provided to our intake person without delay and we will get right back to you.



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