When you have been told you have prostate cancer, you know that you will have many months of treatment ahead of you before you are likely to recover. To help relieve the financial burden of not being able to work, you may find you are eligible to receive Social Security benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA).
If you are lucky enough to qualify, it will help to pay for medical treatment and any other costs you are unable to cover on a daily basis. This may sound appealing and offer you peace of mind, but these payments are not automatic. The SSA will ask you for documentation to support your application which fits their criteria for being eligible for these benefits.
Criteria for Applying for SSDI Benefits
As soon as the SSA receives your application, it uses certain criteria to decide if you are eligible. They use both medical and non-medical disability criteria to decide if you should receive Social Security Disability (SSDI) which is determined on the basis of work credits. The key to eligibility is proving you have a medical disability. Also, you must have accumulated a certain amount of work credits to be "insured" under SSDI or alternatively assets and income need to be small enough so as to qualify for SSI.
Medical Documents Needed in Your Application
If you cannot work due to prostate cancer for at least 12 months, you must provide certain medical documents and proof that will support your claim. The key thing is asking your physician to confirm your diagnosis. Any paperwork should include the treatment you have been receiving, the drugs you have been prescribed, lab results confirming the diagnosis, and the symptoms that are prevalent.
You will need to provide the names, phone numbers, and addresses of all the physicians that are playing a role in your treatment and any other important health professionals, including medical centers which have provided you with treatment.
Other Information You’ll Need
In addition to providing medical documents with your benefits application, you will also need to provide your workplace records which show that you were engaged in full time employment but due to prostate cancer it is no longer feasible to go to work. The SSA will want a summary of your places of employment and what sort of work you did.
This will include making available to the SSA your W-2 form. You will be asked for your Social Security number, your birth certificate and your last tax return form if you classify yourself as self employed.
How a Social Security Attorney Can Help You with Your Application
It is not as easy as you might think getting SSDI or SSI benefits as the SSA tries to find reasons to deny your claim. In order to increase the chances that your application will be successful, you should ask a Social Security attorney to work on your behalf to get your benefit entitlement. Their work is based on a contingency fee basis, so you do not need to provide upfront legal fees as these are paid when your benefit application has been settled.