If you were recently diagnosed with cancer, your physical strength, abilities, and appearance might change. These changes may make day-to-day tasks difficult and might make it temporarily or permanently impossible for you to work.
Depending on your response to treatment and your medical assessment, you might be eligible for medical and financial support. To assess your eligibility, Social Security Disability (SSD) administrators may ask the following questions:
- Can you work?
- Are you severely disabled?
- Is your diagnosis on SSD’s list?
- Can you do your old job?
- Can you do a different job?
A disability lawyer might be able to help you define the impact of your diagnosis and any required chemotherapy and other treatments. If the changes and treatments you experience are drastic enough, the cancer and malignant neoplastic disorder you were diagnosed with might mean you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.
Find Your Disabling Condition on the Listing of Impairments
The SSD Listing of Impairments includes various forms of cancer and their treatment components. If limiting enough, the cancer might be considered disabling. The list includes, but is not limited to:
- Lung cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Breast cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Intestinal cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Cancer of the liver
- Stem cell transplant
- Bone marrow transplant
While you cope with your diagnosis and the resulting treatments, a disability lawyer might be able to help you understand and complete the application process. The lawyer who represents you might be able to help you prove the full extent of your condition, define how it impairs your health, and establish your potential right to disability benefits.
Clarify the Nature and Severity of Your Disability
SSD administrators may ask for proof of the severity of your medical condition. This proof may involve gathering medical documentation from your own health care team and a variety of treatment facilities and laboratories. Information that proves the extent of your illness may include:
- The origin and site of your cancer
- Its extent, involvement, and advancement
- Its length, frequency, and treatment regimen
- Any instances of recurrence or remission
A disability lawyer may be able to help you review the personal and medical evidence that will accompany your application. If you are appealing a rejected application, you may have the opportunity to supplement the evidence you had previously submitted. Your lawyer might also ensure your appeals request is complete, and any additional supporting information and documentation are included.
Additional and supplemental information may include such evidence as biopsy results, pre- and post-operative notes relating to required surgical procedures, pathology reports, and other substantive medical proof of your current condition, diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment plans and goals.
Understand the Application Process
When a disabling medical condition prevents you from working, you may apply for one or both SSD benefits programs to help cover your required medical care costs and provide you with financial support. Available benefits programs include:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are available for qualified disabled workers.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are available for disabled individuals who demonstrate financial need.
A disability lawyer should be able to help you determine the applicable benefits program and the possibility of receiving concurrent benefits from both programs. To apply for disability benefits, you may be asked to provide these documents and evidence with your SSD application:
- Proof of birth
- Proof of earnings
- Medical evidence
- Citizenship status
- Proof of resources
- Proof of residence
- Social Security card
Compiling the required documentation and the wide range of medical evidence your application might require can be time-consuming and complex. Your lawyer might be able to help ensure your application is complete and contains the required attachments.
Know What to Do if Your Application Is Denied
A rejected application does not have to mean the end of your fight for disability benefits. If you believe your application was wrongfully denied, you may fight the denial through one of the four stages of the SSD appeals process. These four stages include:
- Appeals Council
- Federal Court
A disability lawyer may be able to guide you through each stage of the complex appeals process. Each stage means you have another opportunity to fight for the benefits your disability entitles you to receive.
Let Us Help You Fight for Disability Benefits
If you have been diagnosed with a form of cancer or a malignant neoplastic disorder, you might be entitled to receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. These benefits may help ensure you receive the medical care and financial support you need while you cope with your illness and its required treatments. When you are ready to apply for benefits, contact the client intake team at Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, by calling (828) 286-3866 today.