Cancer treatment brings with it special needs that directly interfere with health care. It is not always within the patient’s budget to spend money on transportation to medical appointments, treatment sessions, to the pharmacy to buy medications, and to support group meetings that can make all the difference in mental health. Such appointments can also be scheduled at times that are beyond the control of the individual and the person helping with transportation, which can be a problem if the individual lives, for example, in São Paulo, which adopts the traffic restriction program (called “”rodízio””).
In addition, a drop in income caused by an eventual decrease in workload can put financial obligations, such as financing a home, at risk.
The good news is that cancer patients can count on legal devices that ensure facilities for all these issues and additional ones. Understand what they are and how they work.
Exemption from the “”rodízio”” (São Paulo city)
The city of São Paulo adopts the rodízio of automobiles within the expanded center, according to the final numbers on the license plates, during peak hours (from 7am to 10am and from 5pm to 8pm).
For the oncology patient, there is the possibility of being exempted from the rodízio – and being able to move freely around the city – based on Decree 37.085/97, which benefits:
- People in debilitating treatment of serious diseases;
- People with physical disabilities; and
- Owners of vehicles that transport people from both groups (the relationship between the people and the dependence of the patients or people with disabilities on the owner of the car must be proven).
To request the exemption from the rodízio, the patient must fill out the form for the Registration of Vehicles of People with Disabilities (available here http://cetsp1.cetsp.com.br/pdfs/especificos/formRodizio.pdf and also at the headquarters of the Department of Road System Operation – DSV).
Questions can be sent to the DSV (Road System Operation Department) by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paying off your house financing
When you get house financing, be it through the SFH (Housing Financing System) or through a bank credit line, it is common to need to contract an insurance policy that guarantees the settlement of the property in case of disability or death. Some cancer patients can fit into the situation of proven total disability and, if provided for in the contract, make use of the insurance coverage to pay off the financing.
It is important to note that in order to be entitled to use the insurance, the permanent disability must have resulted from a disease diagnosed after the financing contract was signed.
Free public transportation
As stipulated in Article 30, items I and V, of the Federal Constitution, it is up to the municipalities to legislate on matters of local interest and organize and provide public services of local interest, including public transport, which is of an essential nature. Thus, it is up to each municipality to define if cancer patients are entitled to use public transportation for free.
In São Paulo, for example, the Joint Ordinance of the Municipal Mobility and Transportation Secretary – SMT; Municipal Health Secretary – SMS nº 7 of August 26th, 2020, patients with Malignant Neoplasias (Tumors) who are undergoing chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormone therapy, or parenteral immunotherapy will be exempt from the rotation. The same goes for their companions.
To find out if your city offers free public transportation, contact your local Transportation Secretary.
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