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Health and Cancer Helpline

The UFT Welfare Fund’s Health and Cancer Helpline is available in your time of need through our free and confidential tele-health services for UFT Welfare Fund members and their dependents who may be diagnosed with a medical illness such as cancer, diabetes or heart disease. Staffed with full-time social workers and peer counselors, our team is dedicated to providing the assistance and resources needed and is only a phone call away.

  • Phone number: 212-539-0500
  • Hours: 
    • 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday during the school year;
    • 9 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday during the summer

Services include:

Immediate tele-health support: When life-altering events occur, one needs quick access to a knowledgeable resource. A Helpline counselor can answer questions, address concerns and offer guidance regarding health benefits, medical leaves and other health-related matters. Whether from the individual’s home, work place, or even during a hospital stay, the Helpline offers prompt, confidential counseling over the phone.

Guidance for a leave of absence: During a medical or family-related crisis, it may be necessary to take time off from work. The Helpline staff assists UFT members with understanding their leave options, their rights to take a leave and determining the type of leave appropriate for their situation.

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.

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.

Referrals: When diagnosed with an acute or chronic illness, you or your family members may need additional guidance. The Helpline social workers will assess, evaluate, and provide you with quality health care resources based upon your medical and behavioral health needs. Referrals include but are not limited to: healthcare professionals, social service agencies, individual and group mental health therapy, and nationally recognized specialized health and wellness programs.

MSK Direct: The UFT Welfare Fund’s partnership with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center offers members and their eligible dependents guided access to expert cancer care specialists and services. Helpline staff is available to assist with all questions, inquiries and concerns about the program.

Talking with Children about Cancer Program: The Helpline has expanded its collaboration with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) to offer NYC public school professionals access to this educational program. Through telephonic consultation and educational group workshops, MSK oncology social workers will provide school based professionals with the tools they need to support students and their families who have a loved one with cancer. For more information, please contact the Helpline at the number below.

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.

Medical Learning Series: The Helpline team hosts free educational seminars throughout the year led by top physicians in their field on a variety of medical topics to include diabetes, sleep disorders and breast cancer to name a few. Please call the UFT Welfare Fund at 212-539-0500 during office hours and ask to speak to a Helpline social worker.

When should I call the Health and Cancer Helpline?

When you or a loved one are affected by illness and are in need of information, direction and support.

Why does the UFT Welfare Fund have a Health and Cancer Helpline?

When life-altering events occur, whether a recent medical diagnosis or a death in the family, it can be overwhelming and very often professional support is needed. The Helpline is available to provide invaluable information with appropriate guidance and resources.

Before calling the Health and Cancer Helpline, is there anything I should do to prepare?

Our caring staff will provide you with knowledge and information ranging from job leaves to accessing community resources. It may be useful to have a pen and paper available to take notes.

What is the UFT Welfare Fund Health and Cancer Helpline?

The Helpline is a free, confidential support service dedicated to helping individuals and families dealing with medical and behavioral health illnesses.

How do I contact the Health and Cancer Helpline?

Please call the UFT Welfare Fund’s main number at 212-539-0500 and ask to speak with a Health and Cancer Helpline social worker.

What's New

Health and Cancer Helpline

Receiving a life-threatening medical diagnosis can be an emotional rollercoaster. The UFT Welfare Fund offers an array of services that can help you navigate the road ahead.

Welfare Fund Medical Learning Series seminar

Nearly 100 UFT members turned out at union headquarters in Manhattan on March 14 to learn the latest information in treating breast cancer from Dr. Larry Norton of Memorial Sloan Kettering.

Welfare Fund Medical Series seminar

A Memorial Sloan Kettering physician gave more than 70 UFT members and retirees tips on reducing their chance to get breast cancer and what to do if diagnosed with the disease.