In the United States, an estimated 376,000 live with a form of cancer called leukemia. The number of people living with another form of cancer, lymphoma, is nearly double that of leukemia.
In 2020, the healthcare industry should diagnose more than 60,000 new cases of leukemia and around 85,000 new cases of lymphoma. The earlier both forms of cancer are diagnosed, the more likely a patient beats either disease.
Increasing public awareness is the key to treating lymphoma and leukemia.
Why is There an Awareness Month for Leukemia and Lymphoma?
About every four minutes, someone living in the United States receives a diagnosis for lymphoma, leukemia, or another form of cancer that impacts bone marrow or blood cells. The advancement of health science has made detection of the two cancers more successful in the early stages, which means patients have a much better chance of overcoming the diseases.
To increase public awareness of both forms of cancer, the United States Congress has officially made September National Leukemia and Lymphoma Awareness Month.
From ads presented on television to public speaking engagements put on by notable healthcare experts, the goal of designating September Leukemia and Lymphoma Awareness Month is to improve the recovery rate for patients that are diagnosed with either form of cancer.
How Can Someone with Leukemia or Lymphoma Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?
It is one thing to receive a diagnosis for cancer when the disease is in its early stage; it is quite another thing to make the significant life changes required to deal with the disease. One of the most important elements of fighting back against cancer involves paying for the expenses associated with diagnosing, treating, and rehabilitating from cancer.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) manages a program called Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) that provides cancer patients with financial assistance to pay for medical bills, as well as daily living expenses such as groceries and utility bills.
As a department within the SSA, Disability Determination Services (DDS) compares a diagnosis for leukemia or lymphoma with the symptoms listed in the guide called the Blue Book. Blood cancers fall under the category of cancers listed in Section 13.0 of the SSA Blue Book.
What Happens If You Do Not Meet the Blue Book listing for Leukemia or Lymphoma?
The SSA denies a little more than 50 percent of SSDI applications. How should you handle a denied application for a blood cancer diagnosis like Lymphoma and leukemia? The answer is to undergo an assessment called Residual Functional Capacity (RFC).
The second chance SSA process determines whether you possess the capability to complete the tasks required of your job. An RFC assessment takes into account your physical condition as analyzed by a certified healthcare professional, as well as your ability to communicate with co-workers and understand the instructions given by managers.
If the SSA can find a way to modify your current job description to keep you working, then the agency will deny your SSDI application.
How Do I Start an SSDI Application for Leukemia or Lymphoma?
The application for SSDI benefits can be complicated for someone that has never interacted with the SSA. You not only need to provide a thorough explanation of your leukemia or lymphoma diagnosis on the form; you also have to attach medical documentation that backs up your claim of having a disability.
To mitigate the stress that comes with submitting an SSDI application, you should consider working with a state-licensed Social Security disability attorney.