If you have been diagnosed with colon cancer and have had a long work history before your diagnosis, you may be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits (SSDI) by applying to the Social Security Administration (SSA), a federal body. As long as you meet the criteria and submit all requested information then you could be awarded benefits that can help to pay for necessary medical treatment for your cancer and basic daily costs. A disability attorney can help you prepare an application and provide any legal assistance throughout the application procedure.
Criteria for Applying for SSDI Benefits
There are certain criteria that must be met before the SSA will acknowledge your application. Information provided with your application will help confirm that you meet these criteria. The SSA is heavily dependent on relying on authentic documentation provided by health professionals who have been dealing with your cancer and attempts at treatment.
The two main criteria for SSDI eligibility is that you have a known and recognized medical disability which is serious enough to not work and that you have paid into Social Security insurance over a sufficiently long period of time while working. Basically, you need enough work credits to qualify.
Medical Documents Needed in Your Application
A diagnosis of your colon cancer and prognosis for recovery should be provided by an oncologist or your own physician. SSDI benefits depend on not being able to return to work for at least the next 12 months because of the named disability. Colon cancer would in most cases be considered sufficient to meet this criterion. You should also include the following documents with your application:
- History of the disease as reported by your physician or specialist
- Names and contact details of anyone in the medical profession who have been intimately associated with your medical condition
- Names and locations of medical facilities, hospitals, and centers that you have attended for your cancer diagnosis and treatment
- Dates of visits to medical facilities as detailed above
- Current treatment report and medication status
Other Information You’ll Need
You should provide your Social Security number, birth certificate, and most recent W-2 form if you were employed recently before your cancer was diagnosed. If you were not employed as such, but were self-employed, you should submit copies of your most recent federal tax returns. In addition, don’t forget to supply the following:
- Nature of your occupation, employment, or self-employment
- Addresses of places where you were employed
- Dates of employment and length of employment
- Reasons why you stopped working
- Why you cannot work over the next 12 months
How a Social Security Attorney Can Help You with Your Application
It can seem frustrating working through the SSDI application process. Most Social Security disability attorneys will work on your behalf on a contingency fee arrangement. This basically means that any legal fees are paid after the benefit is approved. It would probably be very hard appealing a denial of benefit without the help of an experienced disability attorney.