Penis Cancer and Disability Benefits: What You Need to Know
Although the precise cause of penis cancer is not presently known, certain risk factors may increase your chance of developing it. They include smoking and being a carrier of the human papilloma virus (HPV). Some penile skin conditions may evolve into cancer if left untreated.
Most often, the first sign of penile cancer is a change in the skin of the penis. This is most likely to be on the glans (tip) of the penis or on the foreskin (in uncircumcised men), but it can also be on the shaft. Possible signs of penile cancer include:
- Thickening and/or discoloration of the skin
- Bleeding ulcers
- Bluish-coloured growths
Penis cancer is treated by surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Under some circumstances recovery can take a long time, and leave you feeling so debilitated that working is impossible. If this happens to you, it is important to apply for Social Security disability benefits right away, so money worries don’t add to an already stressful situation.
Medically Qualifying With Penis Cancer
Penis cancer is referenced in the Blue Book, a guidebook that the SSA uses to determine if applicants are eligible for disability benefits. Section 13.26: Cancer--penis--carcinoma considers you disabled if your cancer has extended to or beyond the regional lymph nodes.
As part of your disability benefits application, your doctor needs to submit paperwork that provides the following information about your condition.
- The original diagnosis for penis cancer
- The extent of its involvement
- Any post-treatment residual effects
- Biopsy results
- Frequency, duration, and response to anti-cancer treatments
- Results of any imaging tests (CT scan, MRI, Ultrasound)
Your doctor will also help you fill out the residual functional capacity form (RFC), which is used to help determine how your illness limits you physically. After each set of questions, your doctor will have to indicate the clinical and medical findings that support his or her assessment. The SSA uses this information to decide whether or not you should be granted disability benefits.
Should you fail to meet a Blue Book listing, you may still be eligible for disability benefits under a medical vocational allowance system, especially if your condition leaves you too sick to earn a gainful living. Medical vocational allowances are granted if the SSA concludes that there is no work you can be expected to do, given your age, skills, and education.
Getting Help with Your Penis Cancer Claim
To improve your chances of being approved for much-needed disability benefits, you should engage a Social Security disability attorney to represent you during the application and any appeals you may need to launch. He or she will also ensure that you submit all required information on time, clearly demonstrate to the SSA that you meet a listing, and increase the likelihood that you will be approved for benefits the first time around.