The diagnosis was shocking. Sophie never expected to have breast cancer, especially since it had already spread to other parts of her body. Her chances of survival were small, and she would need intense treatment. However, Sophie was a fighter. As she started treatment, though, she had one more thing to worry about – she had to stop working and could no longer support her family. A friend suggested she talk to a Social Security disability lawyer about the Compassionate Allowances Program.
Definition of a Disability
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are provided to people who can no longer work because of a disability. But when would cancer be considered a disability? According to Social Security’s definition of disability, a condition is a disability if:
- You cannot do your job,
- You cannot adjust to doing another kind of work because of your disability, and
- Your condition is expected to last a year, has already lasted a year, or is expected to end with your death.
Not all cancers qualify for benefits, but some do. In Sophie’s case, she probably qualifies for benefits. She also may be eligible for the Compassionate Allowances Program.
Social Security Handles Certain Conditions Differently
Applications for SSDI benefits may not be approved for months. And Social Security rejects the vast majority of first-time applications. However, people with some conditions move to the head of the line due to the very nature of their disease.
Social Security uses this program to identify people whose applications need expedited processing. Waiting time is reduced. How does Social Security know who needs compassionate allowances?
Certain diseases and conditions are more likely to qualify for disability benefits than others. When a condition clearly meets the definition of disability, Social Security can move more quickly. The list of diseases is long but includes:
Some cancers with distant metastases or that are inoperable or recurrent;
- Adult non-Hodgkin lymphoma,
- Early-onset Alzheimer’s,
- Esophageal cancer,
- Multiple system atrophy,
- Pleural mesothelioma,
- Pancreatic cancer,
- Mitral valve aphasia, and
- Many more.
In Sophie’s case, her cancer has spread to other parts of her body. Her treatments were so intense and so hard on her that she was no longer able to work. Unfortunately, her disease was so serious that she might not survive. All of these combined could make her a good candidate for the Compassionate Allowances program.
Ask Us About the Compassionate Allowances Program
At a time when you need to concentrate on your health and your family, we can help. Call to discuss your need for SSDI benefits.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have helped many clients receive the disability benefits they deserve. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.