Prostate Cancer – Hormone Refractory Disease

Prostate Cancer is oftentimes amenable (i.e., responsive) to treatment if diagnosed early and not too severe. However, the most serious Prostate Cancer, Hormone-Refractory Prostate Cancer, may be so difficult to treat that it qualifies for Social Security disability benefits from the Social Security Administration through their Compassionate Allowance scheme (i.e., program). Being able to qualify for disability for Hormone-Refractory Prostate Cancer via the Compassionate Allowance scheme means that patients who have been diagnosed with this severe disability may receive disability benefits much more quickly than normal if they are approved for a compassionate allowance.

What is Hormone-Refractory Prostate Cancer?

Although Prostate Cancer can be treated if diagnosed early enough, the treatment typically involves the use of hormones such as androgens. And, if the Prostate Cancer does not respond to hormone treatment, i.e., the cancer is considered to be “hormone refractory,” the overall prognosis for the patient is much more serious. In many cases, the cancer may spread to other tissues, such as the visceral tissue like the lungs or liver or the bones. Hormone Refractory Prostate Cancer patients may also experience the repeated return of cancer cells following hormone treatment. 

What is a Compassionate Allowance?

Most Social Security disability (SSD) benefits applications take many months and, in some cases, more than a year before a decision is made. In many cases, the initial SSD benefits application is rejected, and the applicant may be forced to appeal this decision with the help of a disability attorney.

There are some conditions that are so severe that the Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes how the sufferer faces deteriorating health and little chance of improvement. In these cases, the SSA may provide a fast-tracked disability benefits assessment known as a Compassionate Allowance. Disability benefits payments made through a compassionate allowance are not any higher than for those paid out to other beneficiaries, however, the time interval before a decision is made is considerably reduced. In some cases, applicants may start receiving payments in just days if a compassionate allowance is approved and/or granted for their case.

The symptoms experienced by the Prostate Cancer patient may include any combination of the following:

  • blood in the urine;
  • impotence;
  • loss of bladder or bowel control;
  • pain in the hips, chest (ribs), or back (spine); and
  • weakness or numbness in the feet or legs.

Medical Evidence for Hormone-Refractory Prostate Cancer 

Like all disability benefits applications, there must be clear medical evidence presented in a disability benefits application that highlights how applicant is suffering from Prostate Cancer that is Hormone-Refractory. 

The primary evidence shows that the cancer has become metastatic to stage IV to internal visceral tissue, such as lung or liver, or shows repeated reoccurrence of the cancer despite hormone treatment. This is the evidence listed in the SSA’s Blue Book Sections 13.24 A and B.

In addition, other medical evidence that may be used for assessment purposes includes:

  • clinical examination and history that details the impairment’s diagnostic features;
  • imaging or surgery reports that both document and indicate the recurrence or spread of Prostate Cancer;
  • treatment notes indicating antineoplastic therapy; and 
  • pathology report of biopsy findings.

Get Help With Your Hormone-Refractory Prostate Cancer SSD Claim 

A diagnosis of Hormone-Refractory Prostate Cancer means that treatment options for the patient are severely limited, and the prognosis is more unfavorable compared to normal Prostate Cancer. If the medical evidence presented by the applicant who has Hormone-Refractory Prostate Cancer confirms the refractory nature of their cancer, then the SSA may fast-track their disability benefits payments through their Compassionate Allowance program.

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