Even after the lengthy application process for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, about 70 percent of all initial applications are denied each year. Denials occur for a number of reasons, and the initial application can take three or more months before it’s reviewed by the Disability Determination Services (DDS) office, the agency tasked with determining eligibility for SSD applicants under the guidelines of the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Because most individuals are denied benefits during the first review, a second often review and usually an appeal, as the majority of applicants are denied benefits following the second review as well. Each step in this process adds months to the wait for a final determination on eligibility. The entire process can take a year or more, with some applicants waiting as long as two years for a final decision.
Those who have terminal illnesses and very severe disabilities don’t have that long to wait for benefits. The SSA understands this, and in response, developed the Compassionate Allowances (CAL) program in 2008 to more quickly and efficiently address applications for those who clearly suffer from inherently disabling conditions.
At the present time, there are 113 conditions on the SSA’s CAL list. Come August, another 52 will become active on that list, including Metastatic or Recurrent Peripheral Nerve Cancer.
If you’ve received a diagnosis of Peripheral Nerve Cancer which has spread, or if you had Peripheral Nerve Cancer in the past and it’s come back, the following information will help you understand the SSA’s disability claims process for this diagnosis. It will also give you some guidelines for increasing your chances of being quickly approved for disability benefits under the CAL guidelines of the SSA.
Metastatic or Recurrent Peripheral Nerve Cancer – Condition and Symptoms
Peripheral Nerve Cancer is known by several other names, including Malignant Schwannoma, Neurosarcoma, and Nuerofibrosarcoma. It is a form of cancer which develops in the sheath, or connective tissues, which surround nerves. Tumors typically develop in the limbs, though they can occur anywhere in the peripheral nervous system.
Symptoms of the condition include swelling in the legs or arms which may or may not cause pain. Difficulty moving the limbs where the tumors are present frequently occurs. Pain and soreness can also develop, usually in a very localized area around the tumor.
A definitive diagnosis or Peripheral Nerve Cancer requires a biopsy. Imaging tests are commonly performed when Peripheral Nerve Cancer is suspected or has been diagnosed. X-rays, MRIs, CT scans and bones scans can all be used to determine if the cancer has spread or metastasized.
Peripheral Nerve Cancer is treated by surgically resecting tumors whenever possible. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are used in conjunction with, or in place of surgery, if surgical removal of tumors is impossible due to location. Amputation of limbs where tumors are present is sometimes required.
This form of cancer often recurs and even those who respond well to treatment must undergo frequent tests to monitor overall condition and to catch recurrence of tumors as quickly as possible. The disease itself is quite disabling, as are the treatment options available. The SSA recognizes this and has approved the condition for expedited claims review and approval under the guidelines of the CAL program.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Metastatic or Recurrent Peripheral Nerve Cancer
While the SSA recently approved Metastatic or Recurrent Peripheral Nerve Cancer for inclusion in the CAL program, the initial diagnosis of Peripheral Nerve Cancer can also qualify for disability benefits. It simply does not qualify for expedited processing by the DDS.
Regardless of whether you’ve just been diagnosed with the disease or have received a diagnosis of Metastatic or Recurrent Peripheral Nerve Cancer, the application process and documentation required remains the same. Extensive medical records must be present in any application for SSD in order for that claim to be approved. This is still true even when a condition falls under the CAL program.
You must include all of your imaging test results and all of your other medical records in your application. Additionally, you should include statements from your various doctors in your claim. The more detailed the information is you’re able to provide, the more likely your claim will be approved quickly and without further need for reviews or appeals.
Your Metastatic or Recurrent Peripheral Nerve Cancer Social Security Disability Case
While Metastatic and Recurrent Peripheral Nerve Cancer was recently added to the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances list, this does not guarantee a claim filed with this diagnosis will automatically be approved. You must still show proof of a definitive diagnosis and the resulting required course of treatment in order to be approved for benefits. Hiring a disability attorney can make the claims process run more smoothly and can shorten the wait time for SSD benefits as well.
To learn more about the Social Security Compassionate Allowance listings or to discover whether you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits with a diagnosis of Metastatic or Recurrent Peripheral Nerve Cancer, request a free case evaluation today.