A cancer diagnosis can be life-altering. While there are many more effective treatment options for cancer in our modern world, you still might find yourself unable to work. Cancer can lead to additional disabilities and even the treatments can result in side effects that might keep you from working. 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).
Can I Get a Disability Benefits with Cancer?
You may qualify for a disability benefit 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 application for a disability benefit.
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.
The SSA also has a compassionate allowance list (CAL) that lists specific types of cancer that qualify for an accelerated approval.
Cancers on this list, usually cancers that are aggressive or in an advanced state, are considered for a disability benefit much faster than other types of 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.
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.
Can You Get Disability for Cancer?
The SSA’s compassionate allowance list (CAL) shows which cancer conditions will automatically qualify for faster approval of disability benefits. Over 50 conditions on the list are variations of cancer. Conditions on the compassionate allowances list usually gain approval in just a few short weeks so it is important to consult the list when determining if you can get disability benefits for your cancer condition.
Hard Medical Evidence
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.
Consult With a Disability Attorney
If you have a cancer diagnosis and your condition has made it impossible for you to work, you should consult with a disability attorney. 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 your claim is denied, 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!