Cholangiocarcinoma and Disability

You may struggle to work and earn an income if you have a medical condition like cholangiocarcinoma. If so, you could file a claim for disability benefits through the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA).

Disability benefits can help you cover the cost of your food, housing, and other such basic needs. However, the process of submitting an application, waiting for the SSA to make a decision, and receiving the benefits for which you may be eligible can take several months or longer.

That’s often the case, but it’s not always so. Through the SSA’s Compassionate Allowance program, someone with your condition might be eligible to receive benefits faster than usual. Keep reading to learn more.

What is Cholangiocarcinoma?

Some refer to cholangiocarcinoma as bile duct cancer, as the bile ducts are where the cancer develops. Although this form of cancer is most common in patients over the age of 50, it’s possible to develop this condition at any stage of life.

Treating cholangiocarcinoma often proves difficult for several reasons. Unfortunately, by the time a doctor diagnoses this condition, it has often reached an advanced stage.

Common symptoms of cholangiocarcinoma include:

  • Jaundice
  • Itchy skin
  • Fatigue
  • Pain on the right side of the abdomen below the ribs
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • White stool
  • Dark urine
  • Fever
  • Sweating, particularly at night

What Is A Compassionate Allowance?

Someone with cholangiocarcinoma who applies for disability benefits through the SSA may qualify for a Compassionate Allowance. 

The purpose of the SSA’s Compassionate Allowance program is to identify claims indicating applicants have conditions that obviously meet the criteria necessary for an applicant to receive benefits.

When a claim qualifies for a Compassionate Allowance, the SSA expedites approval of the claim and distribution of funds.

 According to the SSA’s Blue Book, a resource describing the conditions that qualify individuals for disability benefits, an applicant with a condition such as cholangiocarcinoma may qualify for a Compassionate Allowance, particularly if their condition is inoperable or treatment is unlikely to be successful.

Medical Evidence For Cholangiocarcinoma

The more medical evidence for disability you can provide when submitting a claim, the greater the odds the SSA will approve your claim and grant you a Compassionate Allowance. Medical evidence you might provide as someone with cholangiocarcinoma includes the results of such diagnostic tests as:

  • Liver function tests
  • MRCP
  • ERCP
  • PTC
  • Biopsy
  • Tumor marker test
  • Abdominal ultrasound

You can strengthen your application by also providing physical evidence of your condition, such as:

  • Dark urine samples
  • White or light-colored stool samples
  • Documentation of your symptoms

Get Help With Your Disability Claim

Your goal should be to focus on your health when you have an illness like cholangiocarcinoma. You shouldn’t be expending more energy than you can spare attempting to put together a thorough application for the SSA. 

Nor do you have to. Hire a disability lawyer who has experience handling cases involving cholangiocarcinoma and disability benefits, and they can gather evidence and submit a proper application on your behalf. 

Learn more about what an attorney can do for you by taking the free case evaluation today to speak with a lawyer accepting cases in your area.

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