Health and Cancer Helpline

Guide to Health and Cancer Helpline

The UFT Welfare Fund’s Health and Cancer Helpline is a free, confidential support care service for individuals diagnosed with a medical or behavioral health illness. Full-time experienced social workers and caseworkers offer:

Immediate access: When life-altering events occur, one needs quick access to a knowledgeable resource. The Helpline’s team of caring professionals is available to provide immediate support and guidance. Whether from the individual's home, work place or even during a hospital stay, the Helpline offers prompt, confidential counseling which is only a telephone call away.

Professional support: Helpline social workers and caseworkers are available on an ongoing basis to provide professional assistance. The staff is trained to work with individuals/families to assess health risk needs, provide short-term counseling and refer to follow-up services.

Guidance for a leave of absence: During a medical or personal/family related crisis, you may need to take time off from work. The Helpline staff assists individuals with understanding leave options, their rights to take a leave, and to determine the type of leave appropriate for their situation. Returning to work from an extended leave may cause stress, the Helpline provides proper support and coping mechanisms to employees during this transitional period.

Health benefits information: It is important to understand your health benefits and what your coverage allows. The Helpline staff guides you through the complexities of navigating the healthcare system, providing accurate information regarding your health plan, and accessing the benefits and services you are entitled to.

MSK Direct: The UFT Welfare Fund partners with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NYC through MSK Direct: a program that offers guided access to expert cancer care specialists and services. Call the Helpline staff for answers to all pertinent questions, inquiries, and concerns regarding this vital program.

Access to resources: The Helpline provides you with appropriate resources to fit your health and wellness needs. Resources include, but are not limited to: healthcare professionals, social service agencies, individual and group mental health therapy, and many nationally recognized specialized programs. Our staff will refer individuals/families to quality health resources based upon medical and behavioral health needs.

Caregiver support: Caring for an ill loved one can be difficult - emotionally and physically. The Helpline works closely with caregivers to alleviate the stress they may be experiencing by providing emotional support, tips for coping, and referrals to caregiving support groups.

Advocacy: The Helpline team is available each step of the way to ensure that you are receiving the best healthcare possible. The Helpline advocates for you when benefits are delayed or denied by third parties, such as healthcare providers and social service agencies. With proper authorization, the Helpline worker will speak to the appropriate party on your behalf.

Medical Learning Series: The helpline team hosts wellness educational seminars, free of charge, throughout the school year on a variety of medical topics such as diabetes, heart health, sleep disorders, eye health, and breast cancer. These seminars are led by expert physicians who share information about preventive health services as well as the most current treatment options and care available.

Please call the UFT Welfare Fund Health and Cancer Helpline at 1-212-539-0500, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday during the school year and 9 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday during the summer months and ask to speak to a Helpline counselor for information, support and guidance for all your health and wellness needs.

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