Frank didn’t know someone with cancer could get disability payments – until his wife, Rose, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Since Rose was no longer able to work, the family finances suffered as the medical bills increased. Frank and Rose decided to see if she qualified for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). They soon learned that the Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a list of impairments to decide if someone is disabled.
Proving the Medical Condition
Before awarding disability benefits, the SSA will need proof that you have the medical condition you claim is a disability. According to the SSA list of impairments (Section 13), You or your doctors will need to provide medical evidence that describes the type of cancer, the extent of the disease, and other information. If you have had any surgery, the SSA may want to see the operative notes and pathology reports from any biopsies. In some cases, they will need evidence of any recurrence of cancer, its progression, or its response to therapy.
Cancer that has spread and certain aggressive types of cancer may be approved more quickly than others.
However, the fact that you have cancer is not always enough for you to be considered a disability.
Proving Cancer Is a Disability
Every applicant for SSDI or SSI benefits must meet the SSA’s definition of disability:
- You must be unable to do the work that you did before you became disabled.
- The SSA must decide you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition; and
- Your disability lasted or is expected to last for at least 12 months or will cause your death.
An applicant with cancer is more likely to meet this definition if the cancer is inoperable, has recurred at least once, could not be completely removed, or has spread. In fact, a malignant tumor that the surgeons cannot completely remove immediately qualifies as a disability in most cases.
Ask a Disability Lawyer How the SSA Will Evaluate Cancer
Call today if you or someone you know has cancer that is disabling. Social Security Administration rules and regulations are not easy to understand, and the application process is tough. It helps to have someone on your side.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have more than 50 years’ experience helping clients like you. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.