If you have been diagnosed with cancer, you might find yourself unable to work. You might be eligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits, which can help you pay for medical care, housing expenses, and other basic living expenses. Unfortunately, the disability process is complicated and thousands of applicants are denied benefits each year. If you are applying for disability benefits because of cancer, you should speak with a Social Security attorney right away to improve your odds of being approved for benefits.
How Does Cancer Qualify For Disability Benefits?
Different kinds of cancer are listed in the Blue Book, which is the medical guide for the Social Security Administration (SSA) when determining whether an individual meets the criteria to be medically approved for benefits. According to the Blue Book, there are different ways to qualify for disability benefits with a cancer diagnosis. Cancer listings are found under Section 13.00 of the Blue Book. The listings are broken down or separated by where the cancer first develops. Each cancer has different requirements. Here are some ways your cancer might qualify for disability benefits.
- A diagnosis of esophageal cancer will automatically qualify for disability benefits.
- A breast cancer diagnosis is not as readily approved unless cancer has spread to other body parts.
- You have lung cancer that is inoperable or it has returned despite treatment.
How Can An Attorney Help Me While Applying?
When you are applying for Social Security Disability benefits with some form of cancer, your disability attorney can make sure all your medical documents and paperwork are in order so they can be properly accessed by the SSA to get your approval for benefits. When the SSA’s Disability Determination Services review your claim, they will go over pathology reports, physician notes, prescription records, and so forth to see if you meet the criteria.
If the SSA cannot find the information that they need to determine your condition and to see that you are disabled, your claim can be denied. Your attorney will act as your liaison between the SSA, your physician, and any other parties. An advocate or an attorney will help make sure the SSA has access to all the documents that it needs to accurately evaluate your claim.
How Can My Attorney Help If My Claim Is Denied?
If you have filed a claim for cancer and it is denied, your Social Security Disability advocate or attorney can help prove that you cannot earn a gainful income using a medical-vocational allowance approach. Using this approach, your educational background and past work experience are considered along with your age and condition. When your case is appealed before an administrative law judge at a hearing, you will discuss your work ability with a vocational expert. You will be asked about your work history and how any cancer treatments or complications impact your ability to perform tasks.
Questions might involve about whether the chemotherapy has impacted your memory or keeps you from lifting boxes of supplies, or how nausea affects your ability to go to work.
A Social Security attorney or advocate is knowledgeable about the kinds of questions a vocational expert will ask a cancer patient. Your attorney will help you get ready for questions regarding how your radiation or chemotherapy treatments cause nausea or fatigue, how your cancer treatments cause physical limitations, and how long your treatment is expected to last.
Connect With An Attorney Today
If you are ready to apply for Social Security Disability benefits for cancer, you should speak with a lawyer before applying so you can get an idea as to whether or not you will qualify based on the Blue Book medical criteria for cancer and what paperwork you should gather before you apply for benefits. Fill out our Free Case Evaluation today to get connected with an advocate or attorney in your area.