Tumors and Social Security Disability

Many forms of cancerous and even benign tumors can qualify for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA), provided they cause such severe effects that they prevent you from working in a job in which you can earn a gainful living. You can explore the list of medical conditions for disability approval here.

Medically Qualifying for Social Security Disability Benefits with Tumors

To meet the basic qualification criteria for Social Security Disability (SSD), you must suffer from a medical condition that has been or is expected to be present for at least 12 months. For this reason, the tumors you have must either be:

  • Inoperable,
  • otherwise untreatable,

  • OR

  • unresponsive to treatment.

For example, tumors that recur after initial treatment can potentially meet the 12-month minimum.

Additionally, you must:

  • suffer from tumors that meet or match a listed condition in the Blue Book, the SSA's manual of impairments,

  • OR

  • be able to show through medical and other records that you are so severely affected by your disease that you are unable to work, despite not meeting or matching a listed condition.

Blue Book listings detail the documentation required for proving disability in addition to outlining the severity level requirements with each form of tumor. Any of the following listings may apply to your disability claim:

  • Section 4.00 - for malignant tumors
  • Section 9.00 - benign thyroid, parathyroid, or other endocrine tumors
  • Section 11.05 - benign brain tumors
  • Section 11.08 - spinal or nerve root tumors, due to any cause

Each of these listings has it's own documentation requirements. To know the exact records the SSA needs to see in your medical history, you must consult the appropriate listing for the type of tumor from which you suffer; however, there are some general rules that apply to all tumors, including:

  • A thorough clinical history reporting the onset of symptoms, physical features of the tumors, treatments undertaken, and the prognosis for your condition
  • Imaging and other diagnostic tests used to determine the number and location of tumors
  • Biopsies and surgical resections or other procedures used to determine the type of tumor and to remove or reduce the number or size of tumors present, including grade and staging documentation for malignant tumors

Your Social Security Disability Case

Many social security disability claims are initially denied due to either incorrect or missing information. You should consider hiring a social security disability attorney or advocate prior to filing an application. In addition to meeting the above-mentioned medical criteria, you will also to meet a set of financial criteria in order to qualify for benefits. Your attorney will be able to analyze your medical and financial records and let you know how to best proceed.


Additional Resources

Find Out If I Qualify for Benefits!