On average, Social Security Disability applicants must wait three to four months to have an initial application for disability benefits processed by the Social Security Administration. Unfortunately, the majority of these applicants are denied disability benefits during the initial stage of the application process. In fact, the Social Security Administration denies approximately 70 percent of the disability claims filed each year. The applicants who are denied must then endure the lengthy and complicated Social Security Disability appeal process in order to obtain the disability benefits to which they may be entitled. To make matters worse, this disability appeal process can take some applicants more than two years to complete.
Because people who suffer from very severe or terminal disabilities are unable to wait months, let alone years, for their Social Security Disability claims to be approved, the Social Security Administration introduced the Compassionate Allowances program in 2008. Under the Compassionate Allowances initiative, some disability applicants are able to have their disability claim processed in a matter of weeks, rather than having to wait months or years before benefits can begin. There are 88 severely disabling conditions that qualify for processing under the Compassionate Allowances guidelines, including inoperable and unresectable cases of kidney cancer.
If you have been diagnosed with kidney cancer, the following information can help you understand how the Social Security Administration processes disability claims based on this diagnosis. In addition, this information may provide you with some guidance as to how you can increase your chances for a quick and hassle-free approval of disability benefits under the Compassionate Allowances guidelines.
Kidney Cancer - Condition and Symptoms
Kidney cancer, also known as renal cell carcinoma, is a type of cancer that develops in the small tubules located in the kidney. The condition is rare, affecting only about 28,000 individuals each year.
While the exact cause of kidney cancer is unknown, there are certain risk factors that may increase an individual's chances of developing the condition. Dialysis treatments, genetics, family history of kidney cancer, high blood pressure, a horseshoe-shaped kidney, smoking, and Von Hippel-Lindau disease are all risk factors associated with kidney cancer.
The symptoms of kidney cancer can vary somewhat from case to case, but common symptoms of the condition include abdominal pain, back pain, blood in the urine, vein enlargement around the testicles, flank pain, abdominal swelling, weight loss, constipation, an intolerance of cold, excessive hair growth, and vision abnormalities.
Kidney cancer spreads easily, so it is not uncommon for a case of kidney cancer to spread to the lungs and other vital organs of the body. Because kidney cancer is so seldom discovered early, it will have already spread to other parts of the body in about one third of diagnoses.
If a doctor suspects that a patient has developed kidney cancer, a number of tests may be conducted to diagnose the condition. Common tests for kidney cancer include abdominal CT scans, blood tests, liver function tests, renal arteriography, abdominal ultrasounds, and urinalysis.
When kidney cancer is diagnosed, surgery to remove all or a part of the kidney is usually recommended. Hormone treatments may also be administered to reduce the growth of the tumors. Unfortunately, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are not usually effective in treating this type of cancer. In cases of kidney cancer that are unresectable or inoperable, treatment usually focuses on making the patient as comfortable as possible. Such cases are the ones that qualify an applicant for expedited claim processing under the Social Security Disability Compassionate Allowances guidelines.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Inoperable or Unresectable Kidney Cancer
Being diagnosed with inoperable or unresectable kidney cancer can be a devastating experience. Many of the patients who develop this condition are unable to work due to the symptoms of the condition and the side effects of necessary treatments. The SSA has recognized this and has included inoperable and unresectable cases of kidney cancer among the 88 conditions that qualify for claim processing under the Compassionate Allowances guidelines.
When applying for Social Security Disability benefits based on a diagnosis of inoperable or unresectable kidney cancer, you will need to provide the Social Security Administration with as much evidence as possible in order to support your disability claim. Many applicants assume that a diagnosis itself will be enough to qualify them for disability benefits, but this is not necessarily the case. You will also need sufficient medical evidence to prove your disability to the SSA, including complete copies of your medical records, lab results, and written statements from treating physicians when filing your disability claim.
Your Inoperable or Unresectable Kidney Cancer Social Security Disability Case
Although inoperable or unresectable kidney cancer is one of the 88 conditions that qualifies a disability applicant for processing under the SSA's Compassionate Allowances guidelines, this does not mean that your application for disability benefits will be automatically approved. While it is not common, there have been instances where Compassionate Allowances applicants have been denied benefits at the initial stage of the application process. This is normally due to a lack of medical evidence, an improperly submitted disability claim, or a lack of knowledge on the part of the adjudicator reviewing the disability application. Because of this, you should consider retaining the services of a qualified Social Security Disability advocate or attorney when filing a claim for disability benefits.
When you hire a disability attorney or advocate, he or she will work with you to gather the medical evidence that will be required to support your claim for disability benefits. They will also work with you to ensure that your application is prepared properly so that the adjudicator reviewing your file understands how it qualifies for processing under the Compassionate Allowances guidelines.