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The Voice of People With Breast Cancer

your path to accessing financial resources


Work and School

Returning to Work or School

You may be getting ready to return to work or school after cancer treatment. This step can be exciting, and it can be overwhelming. Most workplaces and schools offer work return support that can help you ease back into job or school duties.  Often, supports can be offered or duties can be modified. It is important to notify your employer or school in advance once you have an idea when you can return. If you are working with a LTD case manager or vocational rehab counselor, that person may work with your employer or school to help make a return to work plan.

A website has been developed by researchers at McGill University that cover many of the things you need to consider in returning to the workplace, including gradual return, work readiness, work hardening, communicating with colleagues, etc. For more information, visit

There are several practical things to consider for a return to work as it relates to financial readiness:

  • Are you on LTD, Workers Compensation, EI Sick benefits, CPP Disability or Social Assistance?  What are your obligations in informing these funding agencies of your return?  Are you allowed to continue receiving benefits and still earn a certain amount of money per month?
  • Will you have to reduce your number of work hours on a gradual return, and if so what is the impact on vacation days, total income, pension contributions, etc.?
  • Can you live on this reduced amount of income?
  • Do you still have to pay the employer share of insurance and benefit premiums if you return part-time?
  • What happens if you must leave again due to illness?  Is there a recurrence period?



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