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Head and Neck Cancers and Social Security Disability

The Social Security Administration is expected to receive more than three million applications this year for Social Security Disability benefits. Unfortunately, the majority of these applications will be denied. Statistically, the Social Security Administration (SSA) denies about 70 percent of the disability applications received each year. These applicants must then go through a lengthy and exhaustive appeal process in order to obtain the benefits they may be entitled to. The question is, what happens when a condition is so severe that a disabled individual is unable to wait years or even months before receiving their first Social Security Disability payment? In some cases, the Compassionate Allowances program may be able to help.

The Social Security Administration has recognized the fact that some Social Security Disability applicants suffer from conditions that warrant faster approvals. As a result, the SSA implemented the Compassionate Allowances program in 2008. There are 88 conditions listed under the Compassionate Allowances guidelines that qualify an individual for faster processing of their Social Security Disability claims. Inoperable and unresectable head and neck cancers and head and neck cancer with distant metastasis is one of the 88 conditions that qualify under the Compassionate Allowances disabilities program.

If you have been diagnosed with an inoperable or unresectable case of head or neck cancer or head or neck cancer with distant metastasis, you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits in a matter of weeks, rather than having to wait months for your disability claim to be approved. The following information will help you understand the disability claim process and how you can increase your chances of being approved for benefits under the Compassionate Allowances guidelines.

Head and Neck Cancers - Conditions and Symptoms

Head and neck cancers are relatively rare, accounting for only about three to five percent of all cancer cases in the United States. This type of cancer is most commonly diagnosed in individuals who are over the age of fifty. Most cases of head and neck cancer begin the cells that line the mouth, nose and throat. There are different risk factors that can contribute to an individual's development of the condition. Eighty-five percent of head and neck cancers are attributed to the use of tobacco. The use of alcohol also increases a person's risk of developing the condition. People who use both tobacco and alcohol are more likely to develop head or neck cancer than individuals who only use one or the other. Other risk factors that can contribute to the development of head and neck cancers include sun exposure, radiation exposure, exposure to certain chemicals, consumption of preservatives, poor oral hygiene and exposure to asbestos.

The symptoms of head and neck cancers vary from individual to individual. Common symptoms include a lump or sore that does not heal, difficulty swallowing, a hoarse voice, red or white patches on the gums, unusual bleeding in the mouth, a swollen jaw, blocked sinuses, ear pain, facial numbness, pain in the neck, pain in the throat, headaches, trouble breathing and a ringing in the ears.

If a physician suspects a case of head or neck cancer, he or she will perform a variety of tests including a physical exam, CT scan, MRI, blood tests, PET scans and a biopsy. Some cases of head and neck cancer can be treated using methods like surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. In some situations, a case of head or neck cancer is so advanced that it is inoperable or unresectable. If the head or neck cancer has metastasized to other parts of the body, treatment is rarely successful.

Filing for Social Security Disability with Head and Neck Cancers

Head and neck cancers can be serious and debilitating conditions. The treatments involved with addressing these forms of cancer also have a negative impact on an individual's quality of life and ability to work. Due to the severity of these conditions, cases of head and neck cancer that are inoperable or unresectable or head and neck cancers with distant metastasis are included as one of the 88 conditions that qualify a Social Security Disability applicant for claim processing under the SSA's Compassionate Allowances guidelines.

When filing a claim for Social Security Disability benefits based on a diagnosis of inoperable or unresectable head or neck cancer or head and neck cancer with distant metastasis, you will need to provide as much medical evidence as possible when submitting your claim to the SSA. Be sure to include lab results, treatment records and written statements from your treating physicians to aid in the processing of your Social Security Disability claim.

Your Head and Neck Cancers Social Security Disability Case

Even though head and neck cancers that are inoperable or unresectable or head and neck cancer with distant metastasis is one of the 88 conditions that qualifies under the SSA's Compassionate Allowances guidelines, you must still provide the SSA with enough medical evidence to support your claim for Social Security Disability benefits. You must also present your claim properly to ensure a quick and hassle-free approval of your disability application. While it is rare for applications based on a Compassionate Allowances listing to be denied by the Social Security Administration, it does happen. Because of this, you should consider working with a qualified disability attorney when filing a claim for Social Security Disability benefits.

When working with a disability advocate or attorney, the individual you hire will help you gather the medical evidence needed to support your application for Social Security Disability benefits. He or she will also help you present your application in the best light possible to the SSA. This will ensure that the adjudicator who is reviewing your exhibit file understands the severity of your condition and how it qualifies your claim for processing under the SSA's Compassionate Allowances guidelines.

To learn more about the Social Security Compassionate Allowance listings or to find out whether you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits due to a case of inoperable or unresectable head or neck cancer or head or neck cancer with distant metastasis, click here for a free evaluation of your disability case.