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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 major medical illness such as cancer, stroke, or diabetes. 

Staffed with licensed social workers year-round, our team is trained to work with individuals and families to assess health risk needs, provide short-term supportive counseling and referrals to healthcare services outside of the UFT. The Helpline can answer questions, address concerns, and offer guidance regarding health benefits, medical leaves, and other health-related matters. Whether from the individual’s home, workplace, or even during a hospital stay, the Helpline offers prompt, confidential counseling over the phone. 

Call the Helpline

Members can reach us at 212-539-0515 
10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday - Friday during the school year
9 a.m. to 5:15 p.m., Monday - Thursday in summer

Contact us

Helpline services include:

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.

Health benefits information

It is important to understand your health benefits and what your coverage allows. The Helpline 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.


When diagnosed with an acute or chronic illness, you or your family members may need additional guidance. The Helpline 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, and specialized health and wellness programs.

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.

MSK Direct and Cancer-related Programs 

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 are available to assist with all questions, inquiries and concerns about the program. To contact MSK directly, call 844-350-5034 or learn more about MSK programs available to UFT members

Frequently-asked questions: 
Can I meet with a Helpline social worker in person to discuss my needs?

Yes, but we ask that you call ahead to schedule an appointment as this will ensure that time will be set aside for you.

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.

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.

I don't have cancer. Can I still use the services of the Health & Cancer Helpline?

Yes. The Health and Cancer Helpline is available to individuals and their dependents who have been diagnosed with all types of medical or behavioral health illnesses.

What can I expect when calling the Health & Cancer Helpline?

You will receive immediate professional advice from a full-time social worker based on identified needs. The social worker will create a supportive plan and follow-up care with a series of telephone and/or in person contacts to assist the individual to resolve issues discussed during the initial assessment.