When a person receives a cancer diagnosis, fighting their disease is not their only battle. Many times, cancer patients are unable to work while receiving treatment, which may cause financial hardship for them and their families. Between the lost wages and medical bills, the financial burden can become overwhelming.
Fortunately, a person may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) after receiving a cancer diagnosis. These programs offer financial support for people with long-term disabilities who are unable to work due to their condition. Several types of cancer qualify for disability.
Generally, a person has to have been disabled for at least 12 months to receive SSDI or SSI. However, if you’ve recently been diagnosed with cancer, you may still be able to receive benefits if your treatment will keep you from working for at least a year.
In This Article:
- Is Cancer Considered a Disability?
- Types of Cancer That Qualify For Disability
- How to Apply for Disability For Cancer
- Compassionate Allowance For Cancer Patients
- How a Social Security Disability Lawyer Can Help
Is Cancer Considered a Disability?
The physical toll of cancer and its treatment can result in profound alterations to the immune system, cell growth processes, and the functioning of vital systems such as the digestive, bowel, bladder, brain, nervous, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive systems.
The repercussions of cancer-related changes are diverse and can manifest in a range of disabilities, affecting an individual’s ability to carry out daily activities and maintain a standard quality of life. To this end, the Social Security Administration (SSA) considers cancer a disability and offers financial support to individuals who qualify.
Types of Cancer That Qualify For Disability
The SSA uses its Blue Book to determine qualifying disabilities in detail. Several types of cancers can be found on this list including (but not limited to):
- Thyroid cancer
- Breast cancer
- Lung cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Anal cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Uterine cancer
Even if your type of cancer is not included in SSA’s blue book or does not meet the requirements, you still may be eligible for disabilities. Contacting a disability lawyer may give you your best chance to receive benefits if your condition does not fall into the Blue Book’s parameters.
How to Apply for Disability For Cancer
To apply for disability for cancer, you must meet the eligibility requirements set by the SSA.
- Gather Medical Documentation:
- Collect all medical records related to your cancer diagnosis and treatment.
- Include test results, doctor’s notes, treatment plans, and any other relevant medical information.
- Keep detailed records of every appointment you have with our doctor, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem.
- Check Eligibility:
- Determine whether you are eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSDI is for individuals who have worked and paid into Social Security, while SSI is based on financial need. To qualify for SSDI, you must have worked long enough and recently enough. The SSA determines this by calculating a person’s work credits which are based on yearly income. Each age has a different work credit requirement. Be sure you m
- Review the Blue Book:
- The SSA has a specific section on cancer. Read and understand the specific criteria for your type of cancer.
- Prepare a List of All Medical Professionals:
- Create a list of all healthcare providers who have treated you for cancer, including their contact information.
- Online Application:
- Visit the SSA website and complete the online application. The online application process is generally more convenient and allows you to start the process from the comfort of your home. You may also call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). Note that the application is extensive and requires you to include very detailed information.
- The Disability Determination Services (DDS) in Illinois reviews your disability claim and will ultimately make the decision on your application. Sometimes, you may be required to have a special medical test or exam when additional information is required under Social Security law.While the SSA will pay for the test and some related travel expenses, it may mean a delay in receiving vital funds to help you through a financially challenging time. An attorney can be an important advocate to have in your corner who can help guide you through any additional requirements or help you avoid them altogether by completing the application on your behalf.
Compassionate Allowance For Cancer Patients
How a Social Security Disability Lawyer Can Help
As mentioned earlier, a Social Security disability lawyer can help by completing your application for you. There are several benefits to contacting an attorney to help with your SSDI or SSI application. They will know the nuances of the law and what an employee may be looking for in your application. It’s easy to miss important details that may not seem important to you. However, an experienced disability attorney would know exactly what information must be included in your application as well as guide you as you collect