On 7/24/2019 I was told that the lump I had found in my breast 3 weeks earlier was cancerous and had already spread to the liver, bones and adrenal gland. From that day forward, my health has been a full time job. This is on top of my other full time job that provides health insurance and my family’s main source of income. I qualified for SSDI immediately based upon my diagnosis BUT there is a 5 month waiting period for benefits to begin AND a 24 month period before I could get Medicare. Average life expectancy for MBC is around 2.5 years. Thus, by the time a person with MBC is able to get Medicare, there is not much time left in their life.
The Metastatic Breast Cancer Access to Care Act (S. 1312/H.R. 3183) will amend the Social Security Act to eliminate waiting periods for social security disability insurance benefits (SSDI) and Medicare coverage for eligible individuals with metastatic breast cancer. This means I could file for SSDI and start receiving benefits immediately. This means I would also have Medicare and not have to pay for COBRA. This means I could focus on my health as my main priority – getting adequate rest, plenty of water, daily exercise and nutrition . In real terms this means that on days when my bone pain is horrible, I can rest instead of pushing through to keep working. This means on days when my chemo-damaged intestines expel food in a surprise fashion, I would be able to rest and stay hydrated. This means that instead of working a full day and then being so tired I need to go to bed, I could use my waking hours to visit family and friends. I could do things with my family – my husband, my three kids, my elderly mom – in the remaining time I have left.
The most effective messages are those which are personalized with your story. Please contact your senators and representative and tell them how MBC has affected you or someone you know or someone you love. Tell them my story. Ask them to sponsor this bill