How to Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits With Cancer

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SSD and Cancer

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Common Questions Asked About SSDI & SSI

Dealing with SSD and cancer can be a struggle and one that may be worth it if you are unable to work or pay bills. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, the stress and uncertainty can be overwhelming. It is not only the prospect of dealing with treatment and the potential loss of a loved one that is difficult. It is also deciding how you will cope with the financial burdens associated with treatment and being unable to work. 

When diagnosed with cancer, you can apply for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI). This is a federal disability insurance benefit you might have been paying into through social security. As long as your cancer or treatment will keep you from working, you should be able to qualify for social security disability benefits with cancer. However, with so many different types of cancer, diagnosis, and treatment, having cancer, in general, might not guarantee you will qualify for social security. Here is a helpful guide to show an easy way to combine SSD and cancer. 

Let’s Begin.

Does Cancer Automatically Qualify You for Disability?

Unfortunately, in order to qualify for social security disability benefits with cancer, you will have to meet their strict definition of what they consider to be a disability. 

There is no doubt that cancer is debilitating. However, despite the strain of treatments, such as radiation, chemotherapy, or biological treatments, each patient will react differently during both the treatment and recovery time. As well, the type and stage of cancer will greatly influence your condition. While some people do not have residual effects following treatment, some will be unable to return to work for months or, in some cases, not at all.  

With all of these considerations involved, not everyone will qualify for SSD and cancer. In general, your illness must be terminal, or you must have a disability that keeps you from working for at least 12 months. 

SSD and Cancer: Blue Book Manual

The SSA goes by the “Blue Book” to determine if you qualify for social security disability benefits with cancer. The manual lists hundreds of disabilities recognized by the SSA. Your doctor can help you understand whether or not your illness will allow you to qualify for social security disability insurance. 

SSD and cancer listings are found in Section 13.00 of the manual. Here, you will find listings based on the origins of the cancer and its development. Depending on the progression of each type of cancer, the manual will show you whether or not you will automatically qualify for social security disability benefits with cancer, based on the type of cancer and if it has progressed to other areas of the body. 

Considerations for Qualifying for SSD and Cancer Diagnoses

Other considerations to qualify for social security disability benefits with cancer include:

  • How long you have worked 
  • How much you contributed to Social Security (FICA)
  • If you are self-employed, whether or not you paid self-employment taxes

SSD and Cancer: Compassionate Allowances

Compassionate Allowances can speed up the application process for those with diseases such as cancer. The initiative helps reduce waiting times for those with the most serious disabilities.  

The Compassionate Allowances program uses technology to more easily identify potential Compassionate Allowances to avoid delays in treatment. The same rules apply when applying for social security disability benefits with cancer, but the process is quicker. 

SSD and Cancer: The Approval Amount

Your social security disability benefits with cancer are based on how long you have worked and the amount you have contributed to FICA. Once you qualify and begin receiving your benefits, your spouse and any eligible children can also apply for SSDI. 

SSD and Cancer: Applying After Being Diagnosed

There are two disability programs available for social security disability benefits with cancer:

  1. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) 
  2. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) 

SSDI is available for disabled workers. However, because low income is not considered when qualifying for SSDI, you can also apply for SSI. Whether you are turned down or not, low-income families can also try applying for Supplemental Security Income, which is based on your income and need.

SSD and Cancer: How to Apply

  • SSDI: SSDI applications can be submitted via the SSA’s website or at your local SSA office. 
  • SSI: SSI applications usually require a visit to the Social Security Administration office as they must be completed in-person. There is often a personal interview with an SSA representative required as well. 
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Documentation

Documentation is required for both programs. Your documentation must be consistent with thorough details that include:

  • Your employment history
  • Your finances
  • Medical records
  • Education
  • Job training

It can be stressful completing the forms for social security disability benefits with cancer, as they tend to be repetitive. It is important that you complete every question, or your application will be delayed. Be certain you are consistent for questions that seem to be repeated. When a question does not apply to you, enter either N/A or not applicable. This will ensure everything is complete. You will reduce the need for the SSA to follow up with further questions that will delay your application for social security disability benefits with cancer.

Medical Records

Your medical records are the most important element in the social security disability benefits with cancer application process. Be certain that you include the following when available: 

  • Surgical or biopsy notes
  • Physician report explaining why cancer is not operable or can’t be removed
  • Biopsy results
  • Pathology report on the type of cancer you have
  • Imaging scans showing the location(s) of tumors and/or spread of the cancer
  • Records showing the cancer treatment you have received, how often you must go, and its effects 

Contact Information

To avoid delays when applying for social security disability benefits with cancer, be certain to include the contact information for all health care providers, including:

  • Hospitals
  • Doctors
  • Outpatient treatment clinics
  • Any other clinics or medical professionals involved in your diagnosis and/or treatment

Providing the information required for the disability examiner to easily review your claim will help them obtain your medical records for a smooth review. They will look for gaps in your records that can lead to denial of social security disability benefits with cancer. If you prefer, you can request copies of your medical records to forward directly to the SSA to help speed up the process. 

SSD and Cancer: The Decision

If you qualify, your SSD and cancer can help cover living expenses, medical bills, prescription costs, and other healthcare expenses. However, if you don’t qualify, you have the right to reapply and appeal the decision. This is always worth trying as there are many cases that are approved when appealed. 

If you are having difficulty with the application process for SSD and cancer or are denied benefits, a lawyer can help ensure you have covered all of your bases. They will review your case and help you reapply with thorough records to ensure your application process runs smoothly and successfully. 


Quick Answers

How Much Do You Get From Disability with Cancer?

Your social security disability benefits with cancer are based on how long you have worked and the amount you have contributed to FICA. Once you qualify and begin receiving your benefits, your spouse and any eligible children can also apply for SSDI. 

What Do I Need to Show SSD to Prove Cancer Diagnoses?

Surgical or biopsy notes,
Physician report explaining why cancer is not operable or can’t be removed,
Biopsy results,
Pathology report on the type of cancer you have,
Imaging scans showing the location(s) of tumors and/or spread of the cancer,
Records showing the cancer treatment you have received, how often you must go, and its effects. 


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