Approximately 39.5% of men and women receive a cancer diagnosis during their lifetime. Those living with cancer may suffer from varying degrees of disability. This disability may occur as a result of their primary diagnosis or as a result of their prescribed treatments. The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes many types of cancers in their book of disabling conditions, called the Blue Book.
Can You Get Disability for Cancer?
Many individuals living with cancer have strong claims for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. In evaluating a claim for benefits, the SSA considers how severely a person’s impairments impacts their ability to perform ‘substantial’ work. Late-stage and terminal cancers may be fast-tracked for benefits through the SSA’s Compassionate Allowance program.
By ‘substantial’ work, the SSA means earnings that do not exceed the allowable monthly SGA limit set by the agency. For 2022, the SGA limit is $1,350 per month.
The most common cancers are breast cancer, lung and bronchus cancer, prostate cancer, colon and rectum cancer, melanoma of the skin, bladder cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, kidney and renal pelvis cancer, endometrial cancer, leukemia, pancreatic cancer, thyroid cancer, and liver cancer.
Individuals with treatable, early-stage cancers may not have as strong a claim as individuals living with agressive cancers. Ultimately, those individuals who experience serious disruption in their daily lives are most likely to qualify for disability benefits.
Does Cancer Qualify as a Disability?
Individuals living with cancer who have a strong claim for disability benefits have two things in common: strong medical evidence and supportive treating providers.
When determining whether a claimant is disabled, the SSA will review medical records in detail to determine the nature of the disease as well as how the claimant responds to treatment. If a claimant has a particularly serious type of cancer but is not cooperating with treatment that may allow them to manage their symptoms more effectively, SSA may not grant disability benefits.
The opposite is true as well. If a claimant has a strong record of medical evidence which helps the SSA determine the nature of the diagnosis and how the cancer is responding to treatment, the SSA is more likely to provide a favorable ruling.
As we mentioned above, with terminal cases (cancers that are likely to cause death within 12 months or less), claimants may qualify for a Compassionate Allowance ruling. This expedites the payment of disability benefits. Click here for a list of conditions on SSA’s Compassionate Allowance list.
Claimants who work with an experienced disability lawyer win more claims than those who handle their claim alone. At Collins Price, our disability lawyers have been serving Greensboro, NC for over a decade. Our firm has assisted thousands of claimants with serious medical conditions in applying for or appealing denied disability benefits.
We work diligently on your behalf. And we manage all communications with the SSA so you can focus on your health and loved ones. As a reminder, there is never any charge for our services unless we win your claim. Contact us today for a free consultation.