Battling cancer takes tremendous energy and strength. The symptoms and treatments often make working impossible for long periods of time. Social Security Disability benefits can alleviate some of the financial hardship, so many cancer patients wonder if they qualify.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) lists many types of cancers in its Blue Book. These cancers can qualify you for benefits if you meet the other qualifications. Even if your cancer type is not listed, you may qualify for disability if you can show your condition meets certain criteria.
For urgent cases, the Social Security Administration provides a “Compassionate Allowance” program that accelerates the approval process for the most serious cases. Contact us now for a free consultation, or keep reading to learn more about Greenville Social Security Disability for cancer.
Cancer Is Often Considered Disabling
The Social Security Administration (SSA) confirms that cancer can potentially constitute a disabling condition warranting Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.
The SSA also recognizes that the severity and effects of cancer can vary substantially based on aspects like cancer type, stage, treatments undergone, and resulting functional limitations. The key is proving that your condition meets the SSA’s criteria as a disability.
An experienced attorney can help you by:
- Preventing you from making mistakes when applying for benefits.
- Obtaining the required medical evidence.
- Preparing you for hearings.
- Attending hearings with you.
- Navigating the appeals process.
In some cases, we can represent you in federal court if you do not receive benefits through an appeal.
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Specific Cancer Types That May Qualify for Disability Benefits
The SSA evaluates cancer claims per its listing of impairments, commonly termed the Blue Book. This listing outlines medical conditions and criteria that can automatically qualify you for disability benefits if the requirements are satisfied. The Blue Book addresses cancer under different sections, contingent on type and progression.
Your cancer does not have to be at Stage IV or terminal to warrant disability benefits. The following cancer varieties are listed in the Blue Book and may qualify you for Social Security disability, depending on various factors:
- Thyroid gland
- Small intestine
- Prostate gland carcinoma
- Maxilla, orbit, or temporal fossa
- Skeletal system sarcoma
- Esophagus or stomach
- Pleura or mediastinum
- Nervous system
- The soft tissue of the neck and head
- Kidneys, adrenal gland, or ureter carcinoma
- Urinary bladder carcinoma
- Multiple myeloma
- Penis or testicles
- Carcinoma or sarcoma of the female genital tract
- Salivary glands
- Large intestine
- Soft tissue sarcoma
- Skin: malignant melanoma
- Conditions treated by bone marrow or stem cell transplantation
- Carcinoma of unknown primary origin
Even if your cancer type is not listed in the Bluebook, it could still qualify you for benefits. Consulting with an experienced disability lawyer can help determine if your particular condition meets the eligibility requirements.
Factors the Social Security Administration Considers for Cancer Disability
When evaluating eligibility for SSDI benefits related to cancer, the Social Security Administration examines these key factors:
- Diagnosis: The SSA reviews the particular cancer type and all associated medical documentation. Comprehensive medical evidence, such as pathology findings, imaging results, biopsy reports, and treatment records, must accompany a confirmed diagnosis.
- Treatment and response: The SSA assesses how procedures such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy impact the person’s abilities and overall health.
- Functional limitations: The SSA evaluates the physical and mental impairments stemming from the cancer itself and its treatments. These may involve difficulties with mobility, stamina, pain management, cognitive functions, and emotional well-being.
- Duration: The SSA mandates that the cancer or associated effects are expected to last at least 12 months or result in death.
Even if your condition does not precisely match SSA criteria, you may still qualify for SSDI through a medical-vocational allowance based on the overall impact on your capacity to work and engage in substantial gainful activities. Hiring an experienced attorney will help ensure that your application is filled out correctly and that you provide the right supporting evidence.
Obtaining a Compassionate Allowance
For urgent cases, the Social Security Administration offers a “Compassionate Allowance” program to accelerate the approval process for certain cancer varieties.
Typically, after filing for SSDI, it takes significant time to receive a response due to high application volumes. However, when an individual has a grave disability, the SSA utilizes a “Compassionate Allowance” program.
Benefits of the Compassionate Allowance Program
The Compassionate Allowance program enables faster determinations for serious diseases. The program expedites the process by using advanced software to evaluate eligibility for Social Security disability benefits.
Another benefit of this program is that you can apply as usual without extra paperwork. Due to the severity of your condition, the SSA is less likely to request additional documentation.
Numerous cancer types qualify for a compassionate allowance. A Social Security lawyer can advise if you may be eligible for the expedited program. We’re here to advocate for you and guide you through the application process and beyond.
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Free Consultation With a Social Security Disability Lawyer
At Pilzer Klein, we understand the emotional turmoil and financial difficulties you may face after a devastating cancer diagnosis. If you live in upstate South Carolina or western North Carolina, our Carolina Social Security disability attorneys are here to assist you.
With more than 35 years of experience, we have helped countless individuals in the Carolinas obtain the disability benefits they need. One of our seasoned attorneys can evaluate your eligibility for benefits based on your cancer type, symptoms, and treatment.
Even if you received an initial denial, we’re here to help you pursue the benefits you deserve. Call or fill out the online contact form for a free consultation with an experienced attorney.