Survivors are heading back to work notably sooner than had previously been recorded.
Claims on breast cancer disability insurance have been a top cause of this type of coverage for more than a decade. However, the length of those claims has been getting shorter.
In fact, survivors have shortened their time off work by an average of about two weeks.
In 2019, the average length of a short-term breast cancer disability insurance claim was 64 days. In 2010, that figure was 78 days. This shows a meaningful change in trends regarding the amount of leave taken with this leading cause of disability claims. While the illness itself remains a top cause of short-term leave, survivors are coming back to work after treatment and recovery faster than they were only a short time ago.
These trends were recorded by Unum using its own internal data. Unum is a leading disability coverage provider. One in eight women will receive a breast cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. The analysis showed that supportive employers make a meaningful difference in the recovery time and experience for those women, as does early detection and medical treatment advances.
Supportive workplaces provide a sense of normalcy following breast cancer disability insurance claims.
“Work often provides a sense of normalcy and support for employees with breast cancer during a time of uncertainty,” explained Unum senior leave and disability consultant Mandy Stogner. “This is why the role of employers is so important during diagnosis, treatment, and return to work.”
According to a recent Unum news release, there are eight ways that employers can use for providing employees with improved support following a cancer diagnosis. There is no mystery that this can be an exceptionally uncertain and challenging time for employees. Throughout and after treatments, they can experience a spectrum of side effects, including a weakened immune system, struggle to focus and chronic fatigue. Moreover, the needs of an employee can change throughout and following the course of treatment.
As a result, Unum recommends that employers provide ongoing support by way of:
- A fast response and offering the employee resources
- Understanding the worker’s physical limits and the way that individual’s role will be impacted
- Clearly defining work duties
- Allowing for schedule flexibility or reducing workload
- Altering workstations to reduce lengthy periods of standing or sitting
- Adding new breaks to combat fatigue
- Encouraging regular communication
- Offering performance feedback and coaching
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. This year, with the pandemic challenges continuing, the challenges are particularly high, as are the risks for patients with cancer. An understanding, flexible and supportive workplace can reduce breast cancer disability insurance claim length while improving an employee’s treatment experience and recovery time.