Disability Benefits for Cancer

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Data from the National Cancer Institute confirms that nearly 2 million new cancer cases were diagnosed in 2020 alone, making this one of the most common diseases in the United States. Living with cancer can be debilitating and greatly impact a person’s ability to function and perform their work activities. Due to the medical and financial burdens that are often associated with cancer, Social Security disability has established benefits for many people who suffer from the condition. Securing disability for cancer, however, is far from simple. 

As a prominent personal injury and Social Security disability law firm based in Toledo, Ohio, we help individuals obtain disability benefits for cancer. Leveraging our years of experience and vast knowledge, we advocate for the rights of people suffering from cancer-related disabilities. If you or a loved one is disabled due to cancer, you may be entitled to financial support. To speak with an experienced attorney at Schaffer & Associates LPA, contact our office at (419) 350-8277 today. 

Can You Obtain Social Security Disability Benefits for Cancer?

At the federal level, the Social Security Administration is responsible for granting disability benefits for eligible adults and children across the United States. Cancer is considered a disability by the Social Security Administration. To receive benefits, certain medical and work-related criteria must be met. Some forms of cancer even automatically qualify a person for benefits through a program called Compassionate Care Allowances.

To obtain Social Security benefits for cancer, an individual must prove that their cancer is so severe that they cannot work for one year or longer. Stage IV and terminal cancers will automatically qualify a person for Social Security disability benefits. Generally, as long as the condition has rendered a person unable to work and the type of cancer is listed in the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book, a person can obtain disability benefits for cancer.  

What Types of Cancer Qualify for Disability?

Certain types of cancer qualify a person for disability benefits, as long as definitive evidence of a diagnosis can be produced. The types of cancer that qualify for disability include: 

  • Soft tissue cancers of the head and neck
  • Skin cancer
  • Lymphoma
  • Leukemia
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Thyroid cancer 
  • Lung cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Liver cancer 
  • Ovarian cancer

The type of cancer that a person has may impact their ability to secure Social Security benefits. It should also be noted that the Social Security Administration will review cases of other types of unlisted cancer, so long as the condition prevents the applicant from seeking gainful employment. 

Before applying for government benefits for cancer, it is important to understand whether you are eligible for Social Security disability benefits. An experienced attorney at Schaffer & Associates LPA can provide this guidance and confirm your eligibility for benefits. 

Overview of the Social Security Listings for Cancer

Section 13 of the Blue Book is used to evaluate whether an applicant qualifies for disability benefits for cancer. When assessing cancer cases, the following factors are considered:

  • Origin of the cancer
  • Staging and if the cancer has spread
  • Duration, frequency, and effectiveness of anticancer therapies
  • Long-term side effects of treatment

To evaluate these criteria, the Social Security Administration requires evidence in the form of medical records discussing the type, extent, and size of the primary cancer site. If the cancer has spread, evidence of metastasization will be necessary. Operative notes and pathology reports can prove useful in certain circumstances. 

The length of time that a person suffers from cancer is also considered when granting government benefits for cancer. In some cases, the Social Security Administration will consider the cancer disabling until a particular point in time, such as twelve months from the date of transplantation. In other cases, the cancer may be deemed disabling until three years after the point of complete remission. Recurrence or relapse of cancer may affect a person’s eligibility for benefits. 

Qualifying for Disability with Cancer

Qualifying for disability benefits with cancer is not always straightforward. There are specific eligibility requirements that must be met before a person can be granted disability benefits for their condition. To qualify for disability, the following must be true:

  • The applicant has worked for many years and contributed to FICA taxes. For self-employed individuals, they must have paid self-employment taxes, AND 
  • The strict medical criteria have been met, proven by relevant medical evidence and documentation

It should be noted that having a low income or demonstrated financial need is not enough to qualify a person for government benefits for cancer. Rather, the person must prove that they have met the work and medical requirements set forth by the Social Security Administration. Speaking to an attorney can help provide a fuller understanding of how eligibility works. 

How Can Schaffer & Associates Help Secure Disability Benefits for Cancer Patients?

At Schaffer & Associates LPA, we believe that cancer patients should receive the disability benefits that they deserve. Experiencing cancer can lead to a great deal of stress and anxiety, leaving a person unsure of where to turn for assistance. Our team of skilled and experienced Social Security disability attorneys provide legal guidance for individuals seeking disability benefits for cancer. Furthermore, if your application for government benefits for cancer has been denied, we will represent you through the appeals process until approval is granted. If you or a loved one is suffering from debilitating cancer, we are here to help. Consider setting up a free consultation. Contact our Toledo office at (419) 350-8277 to speak with an attorney today.

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