Portland Oregon resident, Jeannie Azzopardi, is facing forclosure. She has been fighting breast cancer for the past three years. Recently, her application for disability benefits was denied. KAUR TV reported on January 29, 2013 that Jeannie Azzopardi will most likely lose her home. As a result of her experience, Azzopardi is sending a petition to her state legislatures requesting that they force the Social Security Administration to give disability benefits to women undergoing and recovering from breast cancer treatment.
Jeannie Azzopardi was diagnose with breast cancer in October 2010. She underwent a mastectomy and chemotherapy. Two emergency surgeries complicated her treatment. Currently Azzopardi has range of motion issues in her arm and is still recovery from the effects of chemotherapy three years after treatment. She is unable to work full-time.
The Social Security Administration feels that Azzopardi is capable of full-time employment and that she just needs to adjust. Her daughter has gone through her savings in order to help Jeannie with her financial troubles. Right now, Jeannie is running out of options and her home is in foreclosure. It is most likely that she will be foreclosed on, as she is not currently working.
Financial troubles common in breast cancer survivors
Surgery and treatment for breast cancer comes with a high price tag. Even those with good insurance face enormous medical bills. Many survivors are unable to return to their former employment because of pain and fatigue issues. Semi-annual screenings are not always covered by insurance. Staying cancer free comes with a high price tag.
Should breast cancer survivors be automatically eligible for disability benefits? Disability needs to be determined on a case by case basis. Women who have early, non-aggressive tumors usually return to work without issue. Others who have metastatic disease may not be able to function the way they were prior to surgery and treatment. Whether or not breast cancer is a disability, applicants are entitled to a prompt response to their claim. Waiting three years for a disability decision is too long.