Social Security Disability Benefits for Cancer Patients
Cancer patients have enough to worry about without having to concern themselves with finding ways to pay their bills and keep a roof over their heads. Filing a Social Security disability claim during this trying time is an important step toward financial stability. Unfortunately for many patients, rules regarding claims for cancer patients require more than just proof of disability. Obtaining disability coverage for cancer is often difficult and many claimants feel most comfortable navigating the process with an experienced disability attorney. Traditionally, for conditions to warrant Social Security disability benefits, the claimant must show (among other things) that their illness will last longer than one year or that it may prove fatal. For cancer patients, however, the treatment may have the disabled party back at work within several months. New technologies and treatments have ensured that cancer is no longer a death sentence, which is an amazing step forward for the medical community, but it adds another facet to your Social Security claims. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has set forth guidelines for disability coverage for cancer patients in their List of Impairments, under neoplastic disease and malignancies. If your condition is preventing you from keeping or obtaining gainful employment, and your cancer meets the eligibility requirements, you should file for disability benefits. Patients having tumors or lesions that have been entirely removed in a surgical setting will typically not qualify for disability coverage. If you are concerned that your claim may be denied, speaking with a disability lawyer can help clear the air. Helpful TIPS • Remember to list any additional conditions on your disability claim, as the combination of your conditions and symptoms may help the SSA better assess your claim. • If your cancer is far along, inoperable, recurrent, or has metastasized–you will likely be eligible for disability benefits. • Should the SSA deny your claim for benefits, hiring a disability lawyer to help you through the appeals process will substantially increase your chances of obtaining the benefits you need.