Breast cancer can be a devastating diagnosis, even if it is caught in its early stages. According to the American Cancer Society, one of every eight women is diagnosed with an invasive form of breast cancer during her lifetime.
There will be 268,600 new cases diagnosed this year. Some cases are so advanced that the patient cannot perform routine activities, so she is unable to work and earn a living. When caught early, effective treatment is available, but the side effects of the treatments themselves can be disabling.
The severity of the symptoms is dependent on the kind of breast cancer, the individual herself and any other medical conditions that she may have, and the plan of treatment. Surgical intervention, chemotherapy, and radiation are the most common kinds of treatment available.
Those treatment regimens can lead to fatigue, nausea, weight loss, weakness, and aches and pains. The diagnosis can also affect the patient mentally, causing mental anguish, depression, and anxiety.
Breast Cancer and Your Physical Capacity For Work
Breast cancer can affect your ability to perform physical work. As an example, your breast cancer may require surgical intervention, such as a mastectomy. This surgical procedure can leave you unable to reach, bend, lift, or carry for a while. If you undergo treatments such as radiation or chemotherapy, you may be fatigued, weak, and not be able to stand for more than two consecutive hours, require frequent replacement of your position, and require frequent rest breaks.
How Breast Cancer Affects Your Mental Capacity For Work
A cancer diagnosis can be emotionally draining. If you undergo treatments, such as radiation or chemotherapy, they can affect you on a mental level as well as physically. You may find yourself unable to concentrate, lose your ability to focus, be depressed, be more socially withdrawn, and find your thoughts wandering or racing.
You may not be able to sit still for long periods and retain information. You might not be able to stay focused long enough on a task to successfully complete it.
Breast Cancer and Applying for Social Security Disability
If you have breast cancer and your condition makes it impossible for you to work and earn a living, you should apply for Social Security Disability benefits. There is a listing that applies to breast cancer, and if you meet those criteria, your claim will be approved, and you will be awarded disability benefits. If your breast cancer doesn’t meet the criteria of the breast cancer listing, but your condition can meet the criteria of another listing, you can still be approved.
As an example, if your treatments have caused digestive issues that meet the criteria of a listing that applies to digestive disorders, you can be approved using that listing. Your medical records and supporting documentation are essential to the success of your disability claim.
When you do apply, consult with an SSD attorney. With help from a lawyer, you can make sure you have the correct medical support to qualify for disability. Missing medical documents can result in a denial. To get your claim looked over by an attorney, complete the Free Case Evaluation on this page.