Cancer and Social Security Disability
While SSDI and SSI claims filed due to cancer are handled in a similar way as other claims, cases in this category can be expedited based on the specific disease and prognosis. There are also two different ways someone can be approved for Social Security cancer benefits. In addition to approving claims that meet the specific guidelines in their blue book, the Social Security Administration also approves claims where the applicant can prove that cancer prevents them from returning to their job or doing any other type of work.
Disability Benefits With Cancer: Is a Diagnosis All You Need?
Although being diagnosed with cancer can be a very scary experience, it doesn’t mean an individual is automatically approved for Social Security disability benefits. This is because the SSA doesn’t view all forms of cancer equally. Generally, it’s important to show that your specific cancer falls into one of three main categories: it can’t be controlled with treatment and is inoperable, it has distant metastases, or that even after irradiation or surgery, it has recurred.
It’s important to note that while the SSA emphasizes those categories, there are specific types of cancer that may receive immediate approval. Examples of those types of cancer include gall bladder, liver, pancreatic or inflammatory breast cancer. Additional examples include spinal cord carcinoma, metastatic brain carcinoma or mesothelioma of the pleura.
How Do You Prove the Severity of Your Situation?
Location, tumor development, treatment response and post-treatment symptoms are some of the factors the SSA will take into account when evaluating a cancer Social Security disability case. When submitting this type of claim, it’s important to include a cancer diagnosis that’s verifiable by its symptoms, as well as any specific lab findings.
Are Disability Benefits Permanent?
If there is a chance that a cancer can improve, any disability benefits secured for it won’t be permanent. However, that doesn’t mean individuals need to worry about losing them. For example, even though a tumor that disappears for over three years means that condition no longer meets its original guidelines, someone may still qualify for benefits through other criteria that are identified during their disability review.
Will Your Claim Be Approved?
Because the Social Security Administration denies around 70% of all initial claims, it’s likely that the first application you submit won’t be approved. However, because there is an appeals process, an initial denial doesn’t mean you can’t ultimately become approved.
Whether you need help with your appeal or want assistance with your initial filing, it’s useful to have access to the expertise of a cancer Social Security disability lawyer. To speak with Lisa M. Ritacco about your case, contact her online or call her at 877-459-4799 for a free consultation.