What Disqualifies Someone From Getting Disability Benefits With Cancer?

Submitted by rsg on

When you apply for disability benefits after being diagnosed with cancer about 70% of initial claims are initially denied. Your cancer diagnosis must meet the conditions for disability benefits as described in the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book; otherwise your claim may be denied.

Another reason could be to do with having sufficient work credits. Also, a cancer diagnosis may not mean you can’t work and this is one reason why your cancer for disability benefits diagnosis may be denied because you have to prove your medical condition stops you from being able to work for at least 12 months.

Not Meeting a Cancer Blue Book Listing

In the Blue Book, cancer comes under section 13.00 - Malignant Neoplastic Diseases. When the SSA is assessing a disability benefits claim it looks at particular factors related to the cancer which include the following:

  • the cancer’s origin;
  • how much it interrupts your everyday life;
  • the time, length and response to cancer treatment;
  • the lasting effects of cancer treatment;
  • whether the cancer diagnosis doesn’t appear to be too severe; and
  • whether the victim is responding well to treatment.

Not Having Enough Work Credits

To qualify for SSDI, you’ll need work credits that you earned before getting diagnosed with cancer. For every year you work in most jobs you should accumulate 4 work credits. Whether you qualify for disability will depend on your age and how many work credits you have earned.

As a typical example, if you are diagnosed with a disability at age 27, you would normally require 3 years of work and have accumulated 12 credits out of the past 6 years between the ages of 21 and 27. If you are 31 years or older you are normally required to have gained a least 20 credits in the 10 year period just before your disability began.

At age 54 you will need to work 8 years and have gained 32 work credits to qualify for disability benefits. In many cases if you find you don’t have sufficient work credits you will be turned down when you apply for disability benefits.

Being Able To Work

If you are to work despite your cancer diagnosis, then it is likely you won’t qualify for disability benefits. They’re meant as a means of financial support for those who cannot work due to their medical condition caused by the cancer. In addition, if you are working and you earn more than the substantial gainful activity (SGA) of $1,470 in 2023 then you will not qualify for disability benefits.

Get Help With Your Disability Claim

If you believe you qualify for disability benefits because you have been diagnosed with cancer, work with an attorney who may be able to help you win the disability benefits you deserve. To get in touch with an independent, participating attorney who subscribes to the site, fill out the Free Case Evaluation above.

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