Angiosarcoma is a rare type of cancer that primarily affects the linings of vessel walls. There are two main types of angiosarcoma: hemangiosarcoma, which affects blood vessels, and lymphangiosarcoma, which targets vessels in the lymphatic system.
Angiosarcoma can affect the liver, skin, deep tissues, heart, and other organs, and is prevalent in both adult men and women. Angiosarcoma can be fatal, especially in the liver. Those with angiosarcoma may develop rashes or a purplish lesion that resembles a bruise on their skin and will likely have a soft lump under the skin. Deep tissue tumors may develop slowly and be more difficult to detect in early stages.
The best way to diagnose angiosarcoma is with a combination of imaging techniques—x-rays and other body scans—and tissue biopsies, after symptoms have manifested. Angiosarcomas are usually aggressive cancers and deeper-tissue tumors can have a poor prognosis. The first level of treatment is likely to be surgery to remove the tumors, but because the condition can spread so quickly, radiation therapy and chemotherapy are also recommended for more advanced cases.
Filing for Social Security Disability Benefits with Angiosarcoma
In general, cancers qualify under the blue book section Malignant Neoplastic Diseases (13.00). The general requirements include advanced and metastatic tumors that have spread from their origin, the cancer persists despite therapy, and it must be severe enough to interfere with your ability to earn a living.
Rare and aggressive cancers, like angiosarcoma, are eligible for a program called Compassionate Allowances, which pays benefits quickly to those with obvious and debilitating conditions. This is not a separate application, but shortens the existing disability benefits application significantly, in order to provide assistance right away to those in clear need. In most disability cases, a diagnosis alone will not qualify you for benefits. Objective evidence of metastasis and diagnosis may be all that is required for a case to meet Compassionate Allowance requirements. Plan on qualifying based on the general requirements and supplying as much evidence as you can.
The Application Process
The application for disability benefits can take anywhere from a few months to a year, but with a compassionate allowance, you may be able to begin receiving benefits within a month or two. You should prepare for the application by gathering all the medical information you can about your condition, including lab results and records of medical visits and treatments.
When you are ready to apply, you may choose to submit the required forms online or complete them in person with a Social Security Administration (SSA) representative. In the event your application is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. Even with a compassionate allowance, you must be organized and complete the application correctly in order to receive benefits. A disability advocate or attorney can help if you are unsure or if you need assistance presenting your angiosarcoma disability claim.