Cancer Legal Resource Center Chronicle

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Join the CLRC Professional Panel!
The CLRC is seeking attorneys to join its Professional Panel and help people navigate their cancer-related legal concerns.  A volunteer attorney can make the difference!  For more
information, click here.
Support the CLRC! 
Make an online donation,
clicking here.


Sign up to volunteer! 
If you are interested in helping out
in the CLRC office or in attending events as a representative
of the CLRC, please call us
at (866) 843-2572 or click here to complete a volunteer application.



 August 2011 Events      

 For information about these events, 
 contact us at 866-THE-CLRC 

 (866-843-2572) or
 To see the CLRC's complete 2011 
 Events Calendar,
click here 

 Young Adult Survivorship Conference: 
 Young Adults and Cancer: WTF!
 August 6, 2011 
 Life With Cancer's Family Center
 Fairfax, VA
 Click here to see the event flyer

 "Understanding Health Care Reform: 
 Part II"
 Hope Wellness Center
 Costa Mesa, CA
 August 8, 2011
 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. PST 

 For more information, email

 "Cancer and the Law"
 Free Teleconference/Webinar
 Presented by the CLRC
 August 9, 2011
 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. PST/
 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. EST 
To register, click here:

 "Understanding Health Care Reform:
 Overview of the Affordable Care Act"
 August 11, 2011
 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. PST/
 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. EST 

 Free teleconference/webinar
 Presented by the CLRC
 To register, click here:

 "Understanding Health Care Reform" 
 August 16, 2011
 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. PST

 Gilda's Club Desert Cities
 Cathedral City, CA
 For more information, visit:

 "Cancer and the Law" Seminar
 August 17, 2011
 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. PST

 Scripps Cancer Care Center
 Breast Cancer Support Group
 Encinitas, CA
 For more information, email

 "Cancer and the Law" Seminar
 August 22, 2011
 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. CST

 Cancer Support Center
 Homewood, IL
 For more information, email

 "Estate Planning"
 August 24, 2011
 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. PST/
 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. EST 

 Free teleconference/webinar
 Presented by the CLRC
 To register, click here:

 "Cancer and the Law" Seminar
 August 30, 2011
 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. CST

 Wellness House
 Hinsdale, IL
 For more information, contact Marta  
 Quist at 630-654-5191



August 2, 2011 
 National, Volume XVII 

Dear Friend,

In this month's issue of the Cancer Legal Resource Center Chronicle, you will find:

Best regards,
Joanna L. Morales, Esq. 
Director, Cancer Legal Resource Center

What's New at the CLRC!

The Cancer Legal Resource Center's National Office is Moving! 
After August 1, 2011, our address will be:

Cancer Legal Resource Center
800 South Figueroa Street, Suite 1120
Los Angeles, CA 90017

Please update your records now.  All telephone numbers, email addresses, and other contact information will not change.

Life With Cancer Logo

Join the CLRC on August, 6, 2011, at the Young Adult Survivorship Conference: Young Adults & Cancer: WTF
in Fairfax, Virginia.  This FREE Young Adult Survivorship Conference (for persons diagnosed between the ages of 18 and 40) will feature organizations that serve the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Key speakers (including CLRC Director, Joanna Morales) will discuss employment, health insurance, and nutrition as it relates to survivorship. For more information, click here to view the event flyer.

 Mass MutualJoin the CLRC for a free webinar/teleconference on "Cancer and the Law" - Tuesday, September 13, 2011, at 5pm PST/8pm EST, sponsored by MassMutual.  Learn about the most common cancer-related legal issues for patients and survivors, including: health insurance options; employment rights and reasonable accomodations in the workplace; taking time off work; and access to disability insurance, paid family leave, and government benefits.  Participate by telephone or online.  Free CLE will also be available for California attorneys.  To register for this free seminar, click here:

   LIVESTRONG_Young Adult Alliance

Calling all young adult survivors!
  Are you a young adult cancer survivor who would like to get more physically active? If you are currently between ages 21-39 and were diagnosed with cancer when you were at least 18 years old, you may be eligible to take part in a study by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  For more information, go to

Fall 2011 Cancer Rights Conferences 

Conference Logo

There's still time to register for the
Fall 2011 Cancer Rights Conferences!

Join the CLRC for these FREE events that will provide patients, survivors, caregivers, advocates, navigators, and health care professionals with valuable information about cancer-related legal issues.  FREE continuing education credit for qualifying nurses, social workers, and attorneys!

Washington, D.C.
Friday, September 23, 2011
Click here to register now:

Ann Arbor, M.I.
Friday, October 21, 2011
Click here to register now:

Still thinking about why you should attend?

See what our 2011 Chicago Cancer Rights Conference attendees have to say about this unique event:

For more information (location, CEUs, agenda, etc.) and to register online, 
Questions? Contact


Re-entering the Workforce Empty Office Image

By Laura Riley, Esq., CLRC Staff Attorney

If you are getting ready to get back to work after a short or long term period of leave, there are some legal protections and government programs that may help you transition back to work.

Continuing Disability Insurance Benefits
If you received benefits from one of the two federal disability benefits programs, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you may be able to take advantage of a program that allows you to test your ability to return to work, while protecting your eligibility for cash benefits and health care coverage. While attempting to return to work, you may keep full cash benefits, keep Medicaid (for SSI) or Medicare (for SSDI), and receive help with education, training, and rehabilitation. The trial work period lasts up to a total of 9 months, within a 60-month period. Then, you have 36 months to work and receive benefits for any month that your earnings are not “substantial.” In 2011, earnings of $1,000 or more, per month, are considered “substantial.” If you are unable to continue working after this period, your benefits will resume. The Social Security Administration’s “Ticket to Work Program” supports this trial period by, in addition to allowing continued benefits during this period, also helps you obtain vocational rehabilitation, training, job referrals, and other employment support services free of charge.

For more information about the “Ticket to Work Program,” please visit:

For more information about returning to work, contact the Cancer Legal Resource Center (CLRC) at 866-THE-CLRC (866-843-2572) or, the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) at 800-526-7234 or, or your state’s fair employment agency.


The CLRC Professional Panel in Action!

By Jamie Ledezma, Esq., CLRC Staff Attorney

A cancer diagnosis can carry with it a variety of potential legal issues,           including insurance coverage, employment discrimination, access to health care, real estate, and estate planning. While the CLRC provides critical information and resources that help callers deal with their problems, the CLRC does not provide them with direct legal advice or representation. Sometimes, CLRC’s callers require legal advice or direct advocacy in order to resolve their concerns. The CLRC refers these callers to a volunteer attorney on the CLRC’s Professional Panel who practices in their geographic area and has expertise in the area of their inquiry. The volunteer’s commitment is a limited one; the Professional Panel attorneys agree to provide a 30 minute free consultation to a CLRC caller in person, or on the telephone. Panel members may then decide to provide the caller with their legal options, legal advice, limited intervention, or full scale representation.

Dickstein Shapiro LLP spearheads a national group of policyholder lawyers who partner with the CLRC’s Professional Panel to provide pro bono service for cancer survivors fighting their health and/or disability insurance companies. Dickstein Shapiro was recently referred a case to help a woman whose health insurer terminated her health insurance after approving costly procedures and cashing her premium check. This left this cancer survivor with substantial hospital bills and it also prevented her from receiving further treatment because of these outstanding bills.

Dickstein Shapiro stepped in to represent this cancer survivor and coordinated an internal appeal to challenge the insurer’s termination of health insurance coverage. Dickstein Shapiro attorneys analyzed the facts, sent the insurer a compelling letter demanding full payment, and appeared at a hearing for the client. The tenacity and zealous advocacy of Dickstein Shapiro proved worthwhile. The insurance company decided to reverse its decision and provide coverage for the procedures. Congratulations to attorneys Jeremy King, Mikaela Whitman and Jonathan Zakheim, who went out of their way to assist a cancer survivor in fighting an uphill battle.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the CLRC's Professional Panel, please complete the Professional Panel Application and return it to the CLRC by email at or visit the CLRC website for more information, at

Summer Students Spotlight
education 2
This summer, the CLRC had 16 amazing students working for the organization. These law clerks, externs, and volunteers worked tirelessly on the Telephone Assistance Line. They also did research for the organization,  examining everything from cancer legislation to insurance appeals and resources for cancer patients in various geographic areas to Medicaid. Here are a few of the lessons that the students learned from the experience and our callers over their time here at the CLRC:

I expected to get a well-rounded experience at the CLRC, but my experience has surpassed my expectations. My supervising attorneys made conducting legal research a collaborative process. They made themselves approachable and helped me further develop my issue spotting skills in a professional setting. The number of different areas of law I was exposed to also amazed me. Thanks to the CLRC, I feel more prepared to take on the challenges of a legal career. It was really a privilege to serve the cancer community. I felt a sense of accomplishment every time I knew a caller felt better after speaking with me about their legal related issues. This was the first time I saw the law being used as a positive and transformative tool to help individuals, who would otherwise have no other alternative. – Lizbeth Najera

Most of us—particularly those of us interested in the public sector of legal services--come to law school in order to help people obtain access to legal services and realize justice. However, through most of our first years, these notions are vague and abstracted; we’re not sure who we’ll be helping, what issues we’ll be helping with, or how we could even help. I believe that the considerable client interaction that the CLRC has allowed us has given each of us a deeper, truer understanding of how the law affects real people—for good and for ill. Some of the legal struggles we’ve heard from clients have been devastating. But we’ll each remember the stories of clients we’ve counseled as we struggle through the rest of law school, through job interviews, through the bar exam. We’ll remember that there are real people who need information about the law and access to legal services, and we’ll remember that providing justice is more than an abstract concept and that providing help is more than a vague notion. –Ross Rinehart

To read the complete article and see what the rest of our students had to say about their summer at the CLRC, click here
The CLRC Thanks Chicago Cancer Rights Conference
Session Sponsor: The Cancer Health Alliance
of Metropolitan Chicago

 Cancer Health Alliance Ad 2 

About the CLRCCLRC Logo 2010
The Cancer Legal Resource Center (CLRC) is a national, joint program of the Disability Rights Legal Center and Loyola Law School Los Angeles. The CLRC provides free and confidential information and resources on cancer-related legal issues to cancer survivors, caregivers, healthcare professionals, employers, and others coping with cancer.

A cancer diagnosis can carry with it a variety of legal issues, including insurance coverage, employment discrimination, access to health care, and estate planning. These legal issues can cause people unnecessary worry, confusion, and stress, and can be overwhelming. When these legal issues are not addressed, people may find that although they have gotten through treatment, they have lost their homes, jobs, or insurance.
Since its founding in 1997, the CLRC remains unique, providing invaluable cancer-related legal information and resources to people nationwide. Throughout its 14-year history, the CLRC has served over 235,000 people through the Telephone Assistance Line (866-THE-CLRC), Cancer Rights Conferences, seminars, clinics, outreach programs, and other cancer community activities.
The CLRC is funded by grants and donations and the Combined Federal Campaign is a great way to donate to the CLRC. If you are a federal employee, please consider participating in this campaign and donating to the Disability Rights Legal Center, CFC #30555. State employee campaigns will also find us under Disability Rights Legal Center.
Visit for more information about cancer-related legal issues and services provided by the Cancer Legal Resource Center.
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