If you have been diagnosed with cancer and you are no longer able to work, you might want to apply for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Is Cancer A Disability?
Yes, cancer is considered a disability by the Social Security Administration (SSA). If you have cancer that is so severe that you will be out of work for at least 12 months and you meet both the medical and work requirements outlined by the SSA, the SSA will consider your cancer a disability and you will be able to earn and receive Social Security disability benefits.
There are cancers that the SSA considers disabilities that automatically qualify for Social Security benefits. The SSA has a program called the Compassionate Allowances.
Compassionate allowances let the SSA quickly identify diseases such as cancer that meet the SSA’s requirements for Social Security disability.
Diseases that are considered compassionate allowances, such as forms of cancer by the SSA qualify for accelerated approval. Meaning if you have a cancer that is on that list, you will get your disability benefits sooner than if it is not on that list.
There are various forms of cancers that automatically qualify for disability benefits via the compassionate allowance, generally those are more advanced forms of cancer and cancers that are considered terminal.
When you send in your application for disability benefits with cancer, the SSA will mark your application as a compassionate allowance if your cancer qualifies as a compassionate allowance and you will automatically qualify for disability.
Can I Get Disability Benefits with Cancer?
Yes, you can get disability for cancer if you meet both the medical and work requirements outlined by the SSA that qualifies for disability.
If you meet both those requirements, and your cancer is severe enough that it will force you to be out of work for at least 12 months, then you will be able to get disability with cancer.
Advanced forms of cancer, such as Stage IV or cancers considered terminal will let you automatically get disability benefits. When you send in your application with a stage IV or terminal cancer, the SSA will flag it as part of its compassionate allowances, which will allow your claim to be processed faster, in which you will automatically qualify for Social Security disability.
You still have to provide convincing medical evidence that you have one of these types of cancer and that the cancer has progressed so much that it is inoperable, resistant to treatment or has recurred despite treatment.
You will need supporting documentation from your doctor, treating oncologist and from any other source that can confirm you qualify for an accelerated disability consideration.
You may qualify for a disability benefits with cancer from the Social Security Administration (SSA) if the cancer has made you unable to work and the type of cancer is listed in the SSA’s Blue Book.
If you are unsure if you can get a disability benefit for cancer your first step should be to look at section 13.0 in the SSA’s Blue Book. This section describes the individual criteria for around 30 different cancers.
Each type of cancer, such as skin cancer, liver cancer or pancreatic cancer, has its own description for what are considered sufficient criteria for an SSDI application.
The SSA’s cancer listing is based on the origin of the cancer, so if you have cancer that has progressed to your liver and kidneys but started in your pancreas, then the criteria for pancreatic cancer are used to determine whether you can be given a disability benefit.
What Types Of Cancer Qualify for Disability
If you have been diagnosed with one of the following cancers, and that it’s an advanced form of that cancer such as Stage IV or terminal. you may automatically, medically qualify for disability benefits. The types of cancer that qualifies for disability include:
- Esophageal cancer
- Gallbladder cancer
- Brain cancer
- Inflammatory breast cancer
- Liver cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Salivary cancers
- Sinonasal cancer
- Any small cell cancer
- Thyroid cancer
Cancer That Qualifies for Disability Benefit Approval
Being approved for disability benefits for some kinds of aggressive cancer is straightforward. For example, liver, thyroid, pancreatic, and esophageal cancers as well as mesothelioma are approved for benefits so long as you show definitive medical evidence of a diagnosis.
Other cancers might require evidence to show that your condition meets the requirement of the SSA listing for that kind of cancer or that your symptoms and the treatment for your cancer are so limiting to you, you are no longer able to work. Cancers that are inoperable or cannot be resected with surgery, that are recurring following treatment, or that have metastasized or spread to other areas are eligible for disability benefits.
What Evidence Do You Need To Automatically Qualify for Disability?
If you have any of these kinds of cancer, or any cancer at all as a matter of fact, you will need to prove that with hard medical evidence. This means physician notes that detail your diagnosis, your symptoms, your treatments, any side effects, and your restrictions and limitations. Disability Determination Services (DDS) must to be able to determine that you do have one of the cancers from the compassionate allowances list for fast approval or that your form of cancer is indeed disabling. With the proper documentation, your claim is much more likely to be processed faster. A disability attorney can make sure your documentation is all together and in order, so it can be review by DDS. Without the right documentation, your claim cannot be approved.
You Could be Entitled to $3,345 Per Month! Get a Free Case Evaluation Today
If you have a cancer diagnosis and your condition has made it impossible for you to work, you should consult with a disability advocate or attorney. You can have a loved one apply for disability benefits on your behalf if you cannot.
The disability claims process can be challenging, so don’t try to go it alone. Make sure your claim is fairly assessed. With the help of an attorney, your claim is much more likely to be approved.
Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page, so your details can be shared with a disability lawyer who can make sure your claim is on the right track.
If for some reason you're denied benefits, a lawyer will file an appeal and help your claim be reconsidered with the additional evidence needed to support your situation. If you are serious about your disability claim, enlist the help of a disability attorney today!