You are here

Bladder Cancer and Social Security Disability

Each and every year, hard-working American citizens pay into the Social Security program, assuming that disability benefits will be there for them when they need them. This year alone, the Social Security Administration is expected to receive more than three million applications for Social Security Disability benefits. Many of these applicants are surprised when their applications for Social Security Disability are denied during the initial stage of the application process. The fact of the matter is that nearly three-fourths of initial disability claims are denied by the Social Security Administration. These applicants must then move on to the appeal stage of the claim process if they hope to receive any disability benefits from the SSA – a process that can take months if not years to complete.

What happens when Social Security Disability applicants cannot wait years or even just months for disability benefits to be approved? Is there any way to expedite the disability claim process? Some medical conditions may qualify a Social Security Disability applicant for faster approval under the SSA's Compassionate Allowances listings. Bladder cancer with distant metastases or bladder cancer which is inoperable or unresectable is one of the conditions that qualifies under the SSA's Compassionate Allowances guidelines.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with this type of bladder cancer and you are wondering how quickly you may be approved for Social Security Disability benefits and how the SSA will review your disability claim, the following information will shed some light on the Social Security Disability application process for your condition.

Bladder Cancer - Condition and Symptoms

Your bladder is the part of your body that holds urine. When cancerous tumors develop in this organ, the condition is referred to as bladder cancer. In most cases, the cancer begins in the cells that line the bladder. There are two types of bladder cancer tumors, including papillary tumors (wart-like tumors that are attached to a stalk) and nonpapillary tumors. Nonpapillary tumors are less common than papillary tumors, but these tumors are much more invasive.

The exact cause of bladder cancer can be hard to determine, although certain risk factors can increase an individual's chances of developing the condition. Cigarette smoke is a significant risk factor for this particular type of cancer. In fact, 50 percent of all bladder cancers in men and 30 percent of all bladder cancers in woman may be caused by cigarette smoke. Chemical exposure, radiation, chemotherapy, chronic bladder infections and parasite infections are also contributing risk factors for bladder cancer development.

A diagnosis of bladder cancer is staged based on the aggressiveness of the cancer. Stage 0 bladder cancer is diagnosed when the tumors are noninvasive and only appear in the lining of the bladder. Stage I bladder cancer is diagnosed when a tumor has gone through the bladder lining, but has not yet reached the muscle layer of the bladder. Stage II bladder cancer is diagnosed when the tumor has progressed into the muscle layer of the bladder. Stage III bladder cancer is diagnosed when the cancer goes past the muscle layer and into the surrounding tissue. Stage IV occurs when the tumor has spread to the neighboring lymph nodes or other distant sites. This stage is referred to as bladder cancer with metastases. Stage IV bladder cancer is the type of bladder cancer that qualifies for approval under the SSA's Compassionate Allowances guidelines.

While the symptoms of bladder cancer vary from individual to individual, many patients will experience abdominal pain, anemia, bone pain or tenderness, lethargy, fatigue, urinary incontinence and weight loss. The treatment of bladder cancer varies depending on the severity of the condition. Patients who have Stage IV bladder cancer will usually be treated with chemotherapy, as surgery is not appropriate to treat this stage of the condition.

Filing for Social Security Disability with Bladder Cancer

If your claim for Social Security Disability benefits is based on a diagnosis of bladder cancer with distant metastases or inoperable or unresectable bladder cancer, you can qualify for disability benefits under the Social Security Compassionate Allowances listings. This means that your application for disability benefits may be approved in a matter of weeks, rather than having to wait months for your claim to be processed.

When filing a claim for disability benefits due to bladder cancer, make sure that you provide the Social Security Administration with as much documentation and medical evidence as possible. You should provide test results, medical records and written statements from your treating physicians. This will help the adjudicator who is reviewing your claim process your application properly.

Your Bladder Cancer Social Security Disability Case

Even though a diagnosis of bladder cancer with distant metastases or inoperable or unresectable bladder cancer is one of the 88 conditions listed in the Social Security Disability Compassionate Allowances listings, it does not mean your application for benefits will automatically be approved. Your application must be submitted properly with the necessary medical evidence in order to receive an approval from the Social Security Administration. To ensure that your Social Security Disability application is handled properly, you may want to retain the services of a qualified disability attorney.