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Large Intestine Cancer and Social Security Disability

In 2011, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is expected to receive more than three million claims for Social Security Disability benefits. If history is any indication of future approval rates, nearly 70 percent of these will be denied. To make matters worse, fully 80 percent of those who appeal the decision will be denied disability benefits again at the Reconsideration stage.

The fact of the matter is that the majority of Social Security Disability applicants must go through the complicated and exhaustive disability appeal process in order to obtain the disability benefits to which they are rightfully entitled. This means that most disability recipients wait a year or more before ever receiving their first disability payment from the Social Security Disability program.

In some cases, it is not feasible for a disability applicant to wait months or years before disability benefits begin. Many people feel that disability applicants who suffer from severe and life-threatening disabilities should not have to wait such extensive periods of time to be approved for disability benefits. Fortunately, the SSA has recognized this fact and in 2008 they implemented the Compassionate Allowances program. This program allows some disability applicants to be awarded benefits in a matter of weeks rather than a matter of months or years.

There are 88 conditions that qualify for claim processing under the Compassionate Allowances program. Cases of large intestine cancer with distant metastasis or large intestine cancer that is inoperable, unresectable, or recurrent are conditions that qualify for faster Social Security Disability claim processing. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with this condition, the following information will help you understand how the Social Security Administration reviews claims based on this diagnosis and how you can increase your chances of faster approval under the SSA's Compassionate Allowances guidelines.

Large Intestine Cancer - Condition and Symptoms

Large intestine cancer, also known as colon cancer, colon carcinoma, colorectal cancer, and large bowel cancer, is a type of cancer that forms in the tissues of the colon. More than 90 percent of the individuals who are diagnosed with this condition are over the age of fifty. Unfortunately, statistics show that this particular form of cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States.

While there is no single cause of large intestine cancer, there are certain risk factors that can increase a person's chances of developing the condition. Age, African-American or Eastern European descent, a diet that is high in processed meats or red meat, cancer in other areas of the body, colorectal polyps, inflammatory bowel disease and a personal history of breast cancer are all risk factors that can increase an individual's chances of developing large intestine cancer.

In many cases, a patient who has developed large intestine cancer will show no symptoms until the condition has progressed. Some of the symptoms associated with the condition include lower abdominal pain and tenderness, blood in the stool, diarrhea, constipation, intestinal obstruction, narrow stools, unexplained anemia or unexplained weight loss.

There are a number of stages by which to classify a diagnosis of large intestine cancer.

  • Stage 0 large intestine cancer is cancer that has been caught very early and is restricted to the innermost layer of the large intestine.
  • Stage I large intestine cancer has progressed to the inner layers of the colon.
  • Stage II large intestine cancer involves cancer that has spread through the muscle of the colon wall.
  • Stage III large intestine cancer is diagnosed when the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.
  • Stage IV large intestine cancer is diagnosed when the cancer has spread to other organs of the body, also known as metastasis.

The treatment for large intestine cancer varies depending on how far the disease has spread. If a case of large intestine cancer is inoperable or unresectable, radiation therapy or chemotherapy is often utilized, but the treatment is rarely effective and the prognosis is poor.

Filing for Social Security Disability with Large Intestine Cancer

A diagnosis of large intestine cancer can be a devastating experience. In most cases, a patient that has been diagnosed with the condition is unable to work due to the symptoms caused by the disease and the side-effects of necessary treatments. Fortunately, cases of large intestine cancer with distant metastasis or large intestine cancer that is inoperable, unresectable, or recurrent qualify for faster claim processing under the Social Security Compassionate Allowances guidelines, alleviating some of the financial stress caused by the condition.

When applying for Social Security Disability benefits based on this diagnosis, you will need to provide the Social Security Administration with as much medical evidence as possible to support your disability claim. Lab results, complete medical records, treatment histories, and written statements from treating physicians will all help your disability claim. Because of this, it is important to ensure that all of these documents are included with your claim for Social Security Disability benefits.

Your Large Intestine Cancer Social Security Disability Case

Even though a diagnosis of large intestine cancer with distant metastasis, or large intestine cancer that is inoperable, unresectable or recurrent, will qualify for expedited processing under the SSA's Compassionate Allowances guidelines, do not assume that your Social Security Disability claim will be automatically approved by the Social Security Administration. While it is uncommon, it is not unheard of for the Social Security Administration to deny Social Security Disability claims that are based on a Compassionate Allowances listing.

If you want the best chances of obtaining a quick and hassle-free approval of your Social Security Disability claim based on the SSA's Compassionate Allowances guidelines, you should consider retaining the services of a qualified Social Security attorney or advocate. Your advocate or attorney will work with you to ensure that your disability claim is presented in such a way that the adjudicator reviewing your file understands the severity of your condition and how your claim qualifies for processing under the Compassionate Allowances guidelines.