Testicular cancer is when cells overgrow in the testicles, which are located underneath the penis in the scrotum. This form of cancer can grow at different speeds, may or may not spread to other areas of the body, and varies on how well it reacts to treatment.
If you have testicular cancer, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will look at certain medical evidence to determine if you are automatically eligible for disability benefits.
For testicular cancer, the criteria is simply providing medical proof that you have a cancerous tumor that has either spread to other parts of the body or reoccurred, even with an initial round of chemotherapy treatment.
To help your case, it is helpful to provide the SSA with important information, including:
- Which type of testicular cancer you have
- Medical records that show your cancer has spread to other parts of the body
- Your treatment history, including any radiation, chemotherapy, and medication dosages, as well as the length of treatment and any side effects
If you do not meet the main criteria for testicular cancer, you may automatically qualify for disability benefits in other ways. If you have received a bone marrow or stem cell transplant, you may automatically qualify for disability benefits. Another option for automatic qualification is suffering from long-term side effects due to your testicular cancer that would make it difficult or impossible to work, such as hearing loss or kidney problems.
It is also possible that you do not qualify for automatic disability benefits in the exact terms required by the SSA. This can be the case if you suffer from testicular cancer but have received surgery or radiation instead of chemotherapy, which is the treatment specified by the SSA. In cases like this, you would qualify for benefits, since your cancer is “equal” to the criteria.
There are still ways you can be eligible for disability benefits with testicular cancer, even if the SSA determines that you do not qualify automatically. In cases such as this, you must prove to the SSA that there are no jobs you can be expected to reasonably perform with symptoms from your testicular cancer.
This is accomplished by putting together a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment. The RFC includes your medical history, symptoms, and any physical and mental limitations that prevent you from working.
Helpful information for your RFC includes any long-term or short-term symptoms from both your cancer and treatment that would affect your job performance. For testicular cancer, common symptoms include pain and fatigue, as well as more serious nerve and lung damage and loss of hearing and nerve sensations. The side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, such as nausea, can also be severe enough to prevent you from being able to work.
If these limitations on your job performance have lasted, or are expected to last, for one year, the SSA may determine that you are eligible for disability benefits. Your benefits can last for up to three years after you enter remission.