Does Having Cancer Qualify An Applicant For Disability Benefits?

Picture of a woman speaking to her doctor

The treatment and care plan for some cancer patients can be just as debilitating as the disease itself. The condition has a profound impact on one’s life and is physically debilitating, frequently resulting in the incapacity to work. Chemotherapy and radiation treatments have the potential to be debilitating. Medical costs can also be a source of additional stress for people who are already struggling with emotional and financial issues.

Although a cancer diagnosis is significant, it does not guarantee approval for Social Security Disability benefits. However, depending on the type of cancer you have, you may be able to expedite the processing of your SSDI application.

Qualifying for SSD with a Cancer Diagnosis

People who have worked and paid into Social Security are eligible for Social Security Disability. To qualify for SSD, your illness or injury must be expected to endure at least a year or is considered terminal.

According to the Blue Book listing 13.00 Cancer-Adult, there are different ways to qualify for disability benefits with a cancer diagnosis. Furthermore, when applying for disability, an individual cannot be working full-time, and applicants must meet the employment history and income requirements of the SSDI or SSI programs.

Qualifying for Compassionate Allowances

Compassionate Allowances is a unique fast-track program that allows patients with cancer to get their SSDI applications processed more quickly. Suppose you have a form of cancer that automatically qualifies for disability through a compassionate allowance. In that case, you’ll be able to receive your payments much sooner.

For example, inflammatory breast cancer, pleural or peritoneal mesothelioma, esophageal cancer, pancreatic cancer, small cell lung cancer, primary cancer of the liver, gall bladder, bile ducts, and certain types of brain and spinal cord cancers all meet the Social Security’s official listings for disability based solely on a cancer diagnosis. You may be able to obtain Compassionate Allowance benefits within a few weeks to two months of submitting your application. In comparison, standard disability benefits applications for conditions that do not automatically qualify for benefits take 6-12 months.

What Medical Evidence Is Required for a Compassionate Allowance Determination?

To be considered, the applicant must have an extensive and recent employment history as well as proof that their illness—or treatment for their illness—prevents them from working. A cancer diagnosis that symptoms, lab findings can substantiate, and signs and a statement that includes the genesis of cancer and whether the malignant tumor is a primary, recurring, or metastatic tumor must be included in the documentation.

Helping with SSD Claims Relating to Cancer

When you desperately need Social Security benefits to ease the financial hardships of a cancer diagnosis, you can turn to the skilled Michigan Social Security disability attorneys at Disability Attorneys of Michigan. Let us help you with filing or appealing your claim for benefits today. Contact us today for a free case consultation at 800-949-2900 or fill out the form below.

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I will never forget you and the hard work you did to secure my Social Security Disability benefits. Thank you!

- Christine C.