When cells begin to divide rapidly and eventually spread throughout the body, cancer has begun to develop. Cancer takes on many forms, as well as different levels of severity.
If you suffer from cancer, you might qualify to receive Social Security disability benefits. The key is to submit convincing evidence that cancer has negatively impacted your ability to make a living.
Why a Survivors Day for Cancer?
National Cancer Survivors Day is much more than a celebration for patients that have overcome the disease. The toll cancer takes goes well beyond the physical symptoms that develop.
Friends, family members, and healthcare professionals also want to celebrate when a cancer patient beats the symptoms of the often debilitating disease.
In the United States, nearly 17 million patients each year survive the damaging physical effects of cancer. The stories told by cancer survivors are reason enough to dedicate June 6th as National Cancer Survivors Day.
How Can Someone Who Has Cancer Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?
A team of medical examiners from the Social Security Administration (SSA) refers to a medical guide called the Blue Book to determine eligibility for disability benefits. Cancers that healthcare professionals cannot treat typically qualify applicants for Social Security disability benefits.
However, what about the millions of applicants that suffer from treatable cancers, but cannot work because of health issues such as the reactions to aggressive chemotherapy treatments?
The answer is providing the SSA with convincing evidence that a type of cancer listed under Section 13.00 of the Blue Book has developed into a disease that makes it impossible to continue working.
What If I Don’t Meet or Match the Blue Book Listing for Cancer?
The serious symptoms of cancer can be enough for the SSA to green light a disability benefits application. Nonetheless, radiation and chemotherapy treatments can also make it difficult to hold down a steady job.
If you do not qualify for disability benefits by submitting an application with the SSA, you might be eligible for a medical vocational allowance that measures your ability to perform your normal job functions.
Eligibility for a medical vocational allowance depends on how you perform during a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment.
An RFC assessment typically consists of a battery of tests that measure your physical capabilities. Since acute fatigue can be the outcome of intensive radiation and chemotherapy treatment, the doctor overseeing an RFC assessment might put you through several tests that measure your endurance.
How Do I Start the Disability Application Process for Cancer?
The SSA has established a deadline for applying for Social Security disability benefits. Meeting the deadline should be the first objective on your to-do list for gaining approval for financial assistance.
A Social Security attorney can ensure that you meet the filing deadline for the application, but just as important, a lawyer can help you organize the medical documents that you need to present a persuasive claim for Social Security disability benefits.
You need to submit the results of diagnostic tests that reveal the presence of cancer, as well as indicate the stage of the disease. Your physician should submit a document that details your prognosis for recovery.
One of the most important elements of a Social Security disability benefits claim is to present evidence that demonstrates the need for future financial assistance. Since the SSA denies a majority of disability claims, working with a Social Security lawyer can help you prepare for the appeals process.