September is Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month which means it’s a great time to review what individuals with thyroid cancer applying for SSDI need to know. Until recently, thyroid cancer was the most rapidly increasing cancer in the United States, largely due to increased detection. As doctors gain access to more sensitive diagnostic procedures, such as CT or MRI scans, they diagnose more cases.
The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2020, about 44,280 new cases of thyroid cancer were diagnosed. And, that there were 2,200 deaths from thyroid cancer in the United States. Thyroid cancer is commonly diagnosed at a younger age than most other adult cancers. Women are three times more likely to develop thyroid cancer than men which is why it’s important to increase thyroid cancer awareness among that population.
What is Thyroid Cancer?
The thyroid is a gland at the base of the throat that makes hormones to help control heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and weight. Thyroid cancer is cancer that forms in the thyroid gland. There are four types of thyroid cancer: papillary, follicular, medullary and anaplastic thyroid cancer.
Papillary thyroid cancer is the most common type of all thyroid cancers. It can occur at any age, and tends to grow slowly with local spread only. Generally, patients have an excellent outlook. Follicular thyroid cancer makes up about 10% of all thyroid cancers. It is more likely than papillary thyroid cancer to spread to distant organs, particularly the lungs and bones.
Medullary thyroid cancer accounts for approximately 2% of all thyroid cancers. Approximately 25% of all medullary thyroid cancer is inherited. Surgery often cures this cancer.
Lastly, Anaplastic thyroid cancer is the most advanced and aggressive thyroid cancer. It is very rare and found in less than 2% of patients with thyroid cancer. It most commonly occurs in people over the age of 60 years old. Overall survival statistics are discouraging – with an average survival rate of 6 months and approximately 1 in 5 patients alive after 12 months. (Source: American Thyroid Association)
Applying for SSDI with Thyroid Cancer
If you or someone you know is living with Thyroid cancer, you may want to consider applying for SSDI benefits. Before doing so, you will want to consider the stage and severity of your diagnosis. And, you’ll want to decide if you’d like to work with one of our disability lawyers in Charlotte.
Individuals living with Anaplastic thyroid cancer qualify for the Social Security Administration’s ‘Compassionate Allowances’ list. Compassionate Allowances are a way to quickly identify diseases and other medical conditions that, by definition, meet Social Security’s standards for disability benefits. These conditions primarily include certain cancers, adult brain disorders, and a number of rare disorders that affect children.
Anaplastic thyroid cancer is often terminal and if not terminal, is the most severe of all types of thyroid cancers. Individuals suffering from this type of thyroid cancer typically cannot perform work of any kind, and assuming they have sufficient past work credits, will qualify for SSDI benefits.
You can find SSA’s listing of compassionate allowance for Anaplastic thyroid cancer here.
Working with Social Security Lawyers in Charlotte, NC
Individuals diagnosed with Anaplastic or other types of thyroid cancers should consider how their condition and its treatment impacts their ability to work. Claimants filing for SSDI benefits should also consider working with a Social Security Disability lawyer in Charlotte, NC to file their claim.
Disability lawyers help claimants organize their applications, file appeals on a timely basis and organize medical evidence. If you have been or expect to be out of work for 12 months, contact us today for a free consultation on your claim.