If you have cancer that negatively affects your ability to work and earn an income, you may qualify for disability benefits through the US Social Security Administration (SSA). Disability benefits such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can offer the financial assistance you need to pay for food, housing, and other such essentials.
The SSA’s goal is to offer disability benefits strictly to those who need them due to an inability to work. You may thus wonder whether you can qualify for SSDI or other benefits if your cancer is in remission.
In some circumstances, the answer is yes. The following guide will explain what you need to know.
How To Qualify For Disability Benefits When In Remission
Even if your cancer is technically in remission, you may still experience symptoms and side effects from treatment that can interfere with your ability to work. The SSA may determine you no longer qualify for disability benefits if you are in full remission, you have gone three years from the time the original tumor was present, and your cancer hasn't returned. However, if you’re in partial remission, there’s still a chance you might meet the criteria for disability benefits.
You’ll likely need to provide the SSA with medical evidence documenting your inability to work if your cancer is in remission. One such form of evidence is a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment.
An RFC assessment provides the SSA with a detailed picture of how your condition prevents you from performing various work-related tasks. Your own doctor may complete the RFC. If for any reason they are unable or unwilling to do so, the SSA may connect you with a doctor who can complete the RFC for you.
What Happens To My Benefits When I Go Into Remission?
You may already be receiving disability benefits if you have cancer. As you continue to undergo treatment, you might wonder what may happen to your benefits if you go into remission.
It’s highly unlikely you will immediately lose your disability benefits should your cancer go into remission. Again, you typically must be in remission for at least three years before you will no longer qualify for SSDI.
However, it’s worth noting that when applicants with cancer begin receiving disability benefits, the SSA monitors the status of their conditions by mailing our requests for written updates. How often the SSA mails such requests to you will depend on such factors as the type of cancer you have and how long your recovery may take. You may no longer qualify for disability benefits if the SSA learns you have been in remission for some time and can engage in gainful work.
Get Help With Your Disability Claim
Proving that you deserve to receive disability benefits despite your cancer being in remission may require providing substantial evidence with your application. To improve the strength of said application, strongly consider enlisting the help of a disability benefits attorney. Fill out the Free Case Evaluation to get connected with an independent attorney who subscribes to the website and may be able to help with your case.