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Does My Cancer Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?

The word cancer is one of the most frightening that you can hear from your doctor. Cancer can be a truly devastating disease, so you may assume that you will qualify for Social Security disability benefits. While this is a fair assumption, it’s not always true depending on your circumstances and the type of cancer that you have.

There are more than 200 types of cancer. Some of these are easily treatable and noninvasive, while others are aggressive and spread quickly. Cancer of any kind can be considered disabling by the traditional definition, but only some people will qualify for disability benefits.

Cancer Social Security Disabilty Benefits

Why aren’t all cancers covered?

– You need to have either a terminal illness or one that will prevent you from working for at least a year. Not all cancers can guarantee one of these conditions.

– People may be strong enough to keep working, while others may not.

– It can depend on where the cancer originates.

– Each form of cancer qualified differently, so it does depend on your specific circumstances on whether or not you will qualify. Check the SSA website for the full list here.

– For example, esophageal cancer automatically qualifies, but breast cancer doesn’t. Breast cancer would need to spread to distant regions of the breast or into other part of the body in order to qualify.

The Compassionate Allowance Program

– This is a program that allow for applications to be reviewed as soon as possible. The cancer must be considered aggressive in order for it to be eligible for this program.

– If the cancer has spread, is inoperable or is recurrent despite treatment, most types of cancer will qualify.

Be prepared.

– There will be additional review procedures if your cancer doesn’t meet one of the listed conditions.

– Make sure to have your medical information in order. Your doctor will be contacted to gain more information.

– Apply online or in person at your local Social Security office.

– Have your medical information ready. This will include biopsy notes and results, imaging scans and details of the treatments that you have undergone.

Treatment for cancer is a physically, emotionally and financially demanding ordeal. If you have questions regarding your eligibility or course of action, it’s a good idea to reach out to an attorney, who has experience in cases such as yours. Contact us to help you through this process or if you have any questions.

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