The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits application process can be quite lengthy. Most people must wait at least three months before their initial application for benefits is reviewed by the Disability Determination Services (DDS) office. The DDS is responsible for reviewing applications under the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) guidelines to determine eligibility for benefits.
On average, about 70 percent of applications are initially denied. This can occur for a number of reasons. No matter the reason they may be turned down, applicants must go through a second review and often an appeal hearing before they receive a final determination on eligibility. Altogether, this process can take a year or more, with some people waiting more than two years for SSDI benefits.
For those who suffer from very severe or terminal disabilities, waiting months or even years for a decision is impossible. In response, the SSA began its Compassionate Allowances (CAL) program in 2008, which essentially allows DDS workers to expedite the review and approval of claims for conditions which are clearly severely disabling and meet the SSA’s guidelines.
At the present time, there are 113 CAL conditions on the SSA’s list. Fifty-two additional conditions where recently approved, including Follicular Dendritic Cell Sarcoma with Metastases, though these 52 disabilities will not formally be among the CAL list until August 13, 2012.
If you’ve received a diagnosis of Follicular Dendritic Cell Sarcoma with Metastases, the following information will help you understand the SSA’s disability claims review process for this specific condition. It will also give you some guidelines for increasing your chances of being quickly approved for disability benefits under the CAL guidelines of the SSA.
Follicular Dendritic Cell Sarcoma with Metastases – Condition and Symptoms
Follicular Dendritic Cell Sarcoma (FCDS) is a rare form of cancer which develops inside the follicles of the lymph system. When it spreads to other areas, it is FDCS with metastases. The type of cancer and its development in the lymphatic system allows FDCS to spread quickly and easily. Because it is an easy diagnosis to miss, especially in the early stages of the disease, it usually has the opportunity to spread to other areas of the body before it is diagnosed.
The most common places for FCDS to develop are the lymph nodes in the head and neck. Common early symptoms include painless swelling of lymph nodes, cough and sore throat, difficulty swallowing, fatigue and weight loss. When FDCS develops in other areas of the body, symptoms may be specific to the region. For example, if it develops in the stomach, digestive symptoms may be present instead.
Follicular Dendritic Cell Sarcoma, particularly in its early stages, is difficult to diagnose. The symptoms mimic so many other illnesses, including the common cold and flu. If FDCS is suspected, a detailed examination of lymphatic cells must be performed, including biopsy but also additional tests to distinguish this form of cancer from other lymphomas like Hodgkin’s disease.
In treating FDCS with or without metastases, surgical removal of lymph nodes and other tumors may be required. Chemotherapy is often used and radiation therapy is typically employed as well. Because FDCS which is caught before it has had the chance to spread, it is not yet included in the CAL program of the SSA.
Follicular Dendritic Cell Sarcoma with metastases on the other hand, requires more intensive and varied treatment which can be quite disabling. The SSA, recognizing this, has approved this form of the disease for inclusion in the Compassionate Allowances program allowing for rapid review and processing of disability claims containing the diagnosis.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Follicular Dendritic Cell Sarcoma with Metastases
When filing a claim for disability benefits with any diagnosis, you must have extensive medical records in your claim, and the same is true even for conditions included in the CAL program. Medical records should include everything that is available. That means documents which detail the diagnosis of the disease, tests performed, treatments prescribed and all other records should be included in your application for disability benefits.
You will also need to include statements from all of your doctors, including family practitioners who first suspect the presence of more serious disease and the specialists who eventually diagnose and treat your Follicular Dendritic Cell Sarcoma with metastases.
Your Follicular Dendritic Cell Sarcoma with Metastases Social Security Disability Case
While FDCS is now considered a standard condition in the Compassionate Allowances list by the SSA, the diagnosis alone is not enough to be found eligible for SSDI. You will still need to include substantial proof of disability in your application in order to receive benefits. A Social Security Disability lawyer can help you through the application and review processes and can shorten your wait for benefits as well.
To learn more about the Social Security Compassionate Allowance listings or to discover whether you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits with a diagnosis of Follicular Dendritic Cell Sarcoma with Metastases, request a free case evaluation today.