The federal Family and Medical Leave Act may protect your job and benefits for unpaid absences up to 12 weeks, and you don’t have to use that time all in a row.

• Complete paperwork from your HR department to become eligible.

• Social Security Disability Insurance is available to people who have disabilities that keep them from working. Visit ssa.gov and choose “disability” to learn if you qualify or call 1-800-772-1213. If you are denied benefits, appeal. Many people receive benefits after appealing. You can find more information at cancer.org.

Americans with Disabilities Act

In most cases, companies that have 15-plus employees are required to make reasonable accommodations to help you do your work by allowing time off for appointments or flexibility with your schedule.

It is illegal for companies to terminate an employee for having an illness as long as they are still able to do their job. If you feel an injustice in the workplace has occurred, file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at eeoc.gov or call 1-800-669-4000 to discuss your situation.

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Santa Fe New Mexican