Can I Continue Working with Prostate Cancer?

Any kind of cancer – including prostate cancer – can be disabling. Prostate cancer is one of the more treatable and curable cancers despite being one of the leading causes of death of the American men.

Prostate cancer that isn’t diagnosed until an advanced stage, or that has recurred following initial treatment, will automatically qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. If your cancer is caught early on, you will need to provide documentation that indicates your symptoms, treatments, side effects, and complications affect your ability to work.

How Prostate Cancer Affects Your Physical Ability To Work

Prostate cancer may require surgery and will most likely require treatments. It will limit your ability to lift, squat, lift and reach. The side effects of the treatments include fatigue and nausea, which can keep you from standing long periods or walking considerable distances. You may not be able to stand long periods, lift, carry, reach, squat, or bend.

You may require frequent rest breaks, which will keep you from working for extended periods. When you are undergoing treatment, you are also more prone to getting infections or catching colds or flu. You may be told to limit your time in public, but you may also develop a phobia with a fear of becoming sick.

How Prostate Cancer Affects Your Mental Ability To Work

A cancer diagnosis can be mentally and emotionally devastating. No one wants to receive that diagnosis. Also, the treatments, such as radiation and chemotherapy, can lead to depression and anxiety.

You may suffer from severe mental anguish that affects your ability to function, and because of your lowered immune responses you may become paranoid about being in public and cause a fear of becoming ill.

The depression and anxiety may become too much to bear and require medical intervention. Social phobias may develop, and you may not be able to effectively communicate and work with others or deal with customers. Sometimes those undergoing cancer treatments may be withdrawn and only leave home to get treatments and to go to medical appointments.

Can I Continue Working with Prostate Cancer?

Prostate Cancer and Applying for Social Security Disability

The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a medical guide, referred to informally as the Blue Book, to determine if an individual qualifies for disability benefits. The Blue Book has a listing for prostate cancer. To be approved using the listing, you must provide medical records that indicate at least one of the following applies to your situation:

  • You have oat or small-cell carcinoma
  • Your cancer has spread or metastasized to internal organs
  • The disease has progressed or returned despite undergoing initial treatment

Starting Your Application

To get your application underway, you can go to the Social Security website at or call 1-800-772-1213 and speak with a representative to start the process on the phone or to schedule an appointment at your local SSA field office.

Documentation is essential to the success of your disability claim. Complete the form on this page to have your disability claim for prostate cancer evaluated for free.

Additional Resources

Find Out If I Qualify for Benefits!