If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, you might not be able to work. Monthly disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) can help you pay for medical care and cover the costs of your living expenses. It can be challenging to get approved for disability benefits, so thousands of applicants have claims denied every year. If you are unable to work because of breast cancer and you want to apply for disability benefits, you should speak with a Social Security attorney now to ensure your claim is on the right track.
How Does Breast Cancer Qualify For Disability Benefits?
The SSA uses a medical guide, which is called the Blue Book, to determine if individuals are disabled and eligible to receive monthly benefits. The Blue Book has a listing that covers breast cancer. Under Listing 13.00 – Malignant Neoplastic Diseases – cover a breast cancer diagnosis. To meet the medical criteria, your physician’s reports or test results must show one of the following:
- An advanced form of cancer that has spread to the internal mammary nodes, skin, or the chest OR
- A carcinoma that has spread above or below the collarbone, to 10 or more nearby nodes, or to distant regions of the chest OR
- Small-cell carcinoma OR
- A carcinoma that has returned after anti-cancer treatment or therapy.
The listing criteria are technical, but your physician and Social Security attorney will know if your condition qualifies for disability benefits.
How Can An Attorney Help Me While Applying?
It might be challenging to determine if your condition meets the criteria set forth in the Blue Book. Your disability attorney or advocate can go over your medical records, discuss your limitations and restrictions with you, and then help you determine if your condition meets the SSA’s criteria to be approved for disability benefits.
Your treatment can impact your ability to function, so sometimes that might be considered using a different listing in the Blue Book. As an example, chemotherapy might cause brain fog, fatigue, nausea, and weakness. These side effects might warrant approval for disability benefits. If the SSA cannot access documentation that supports your claim, you will be denied benefits. Your attorney or advocate will act as liaison between your physician, the SSA, and any other parties so records can be accessed and your case fairly evaluated.
How Can My Attorney Help Me If My Claim Is Denied?
If your disability claim for breast cancer is denied, you will have to file an appeal. Your Social Security advocate or attorney will help show Disability Determination Services that you are unable to earn a gainful income. A medical-vocational allowance will involve your age, medical conditions, work history, and educational background all to be considered when determining if you are disabled.
If your claim is appealed a second time, you will be scheduled for a hearing before an administrative law judge where you will be questioned by a vocational expert about your work history and how your condition keeps you from working. Your attorney will help you prepare for this questioning. Your questions might involve how breast cancer surgery has affected your ability to reach above your head or carry things. “Do your cancer treatments effect you mentally and emotionally?” “How has your workday been impacted by the side effects of your cancer medication and treatment?”
Connect With An Attorney Today
If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer and are unable to work so you wish to apply for disability benefits, fill out the Free Case Evaluation Form today so you can be connected with a local Social Security attorney or advocate who can help you get your disability claim on the right track.