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Can You Get SSD if you Have Cancer?

Posted by James Aspell | Jun 17, 2022 | 0 Comments

Social Security Disability Benefits With Cancer


How To Qualify For Social Security Disability Benefits With Cancer

Being diagnosed with cancer can qualify you to receive Social Security disability benefits. There are more than 200 types of cancers and if you have late stage or aggressive cancer you may automatically qualify for Social Security disability benefits. But anyone can apply for Social Security disability benefits as long as they expect their medical condition to make it impossible for them to work for at least 12 months. That means that even if your cancer is still in the early stages or is treatable you can apply for Social Security disability benefits if your treatment will keep you from working for at least a year.

Qualifying For Disability With Cancer

The Social Security Administration has a guideline called the Blue Book. This lists all of the conditions that qualify for disability benefits and the requirements that you need to meet in order to qualify with each condition. The listings for cancers are very specific. But even if you don't meet the exact requirements that are listed in the Blue Book you can still get disability benefits for cancer with a Medical Vocational Allowance.

Compassionate Allowance

If you are diagnosed with inoperable cancer or Stage 3 or higher cancer you can get your application for Social Security disability benefits expedited or processed faster. That means that you can start receiving benefits in just a few weeks. Usually this is only done for cases where the cancer is so serious that only a medical diagnosis is needed in order to be approved for benefits. Some of the cancers that can qualify for Compassionate Allowance include:

  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Stage 3 or higher breast cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Gallbladder cancer
  • Recurrent cancer
  • Inoperable cancer

If you're not sure if your cancer qualifies you for Compassionate Allowance ask your doctor or a patient advocate at the hospital where you are being treated.

Medical Vocational Allowance

If you have early stage cancer or a cancer that is expected to respond well to treatment but you still can't work for at least a year while you are being treated you can still apply for disability benefits. There is an option called a Medical Vocational Allowance that can make it possible for you to get disability benefits. When you apply for benefits ask for a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) evaluation. The Social Security Administration will perform a Residual Functional Capacity evaluation to see if there is any kind of work that you can do with the skills and training that you already have. If there is no work that you can do with the skills and training that you already have while you are being treated then you may be able to receive Social Security disability benefits.

Applying For Social Security Disability Benefits

You can apply for Social Security disability benefits online at any time. You can start your application and then go back and submit your medical documentation after you get it. Or, if you want to get help filling out the application you can find your local SSA office and make an appointment to fill out the application in person. If you need help filling out the application online you can have a spouse, friend, or family member help you complete the application. Your doctor or a medical advocate can help you gather up the medical documentation that you need to prove your condition.

If you are facing a cancer diagnosis, don't wait to apply for Social Security Disability.   Contact an experienced Connecticut SSD Disability lawyer for a free consultation at 860-523-8783.

About the Author

James Aspell

Principal since August 1, 2006 James F. Aspell is the principal and managing attorney of the firm which he started in 2006 following 20 years of litigation practice in a mid -size firm in Hartford, Connecticut. Jim focuses his practice in the areas of worker's compensation and personal injury l...

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