Cancer & Disability Benefits
Being diagnosed with cancer and having to undergo treatment can be incredibly debilitating. Many people are awarded Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits after a cancer diagnosis.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provides financial support for people with disabilities who cannot financially support themselves and take part in Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA). Thereby, cancer patients who cannot work due to their illness or corresponding treatments are qualified to receive disability benefits.
Hiring A Social Security Disability Benefits Lawyer for Qualifying Cancer Patients
The Social Security Administration (SSA) is responsible for approving and denying disability claims. They utilize what is known as the Blue Book to review claimant’s disabilities and determine, based on definitions in the Blue Book, whether the claimant qualifies for benefits.
In the Blue Book, section 13.00 is reserved for impairments related to cancer. To qualify for SSDI, a claimant must be able to prove that their disability fits the impairments listed under the chosen category, and prevents them from working and earning an income. Additionally, they must prove that their disability- oftentimes caused by cancer treatment -is going to last at least one year or longer, or result in death.
Advanced cancers that meet certain criteria will also be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance, such as the following:
- Cancers that are inoperable or unlikely to respond to surgery
- Cancers that have metastasized
- Recurring cancers
Disability Onset Date
Cancer patients can be awarded benefits for a period of time before they were first diagnosed, based on various factors, like the following:
- When symptoms were first reported
- Where the cancer is located
- The type of cancer
- How far the cancer has spread
A claimant will also need to supply the SSA with detailed medical records, such as diagnostic test results, in order to support their claim.
Due to the intricate nature of filing Social Security Disability claims, the best course of action is to hire a disability attorney to aid in the application process.
At Peña & Bromberg, our team of SSD and SSI lawyers in Stockton, CA is here to help clients through every step of the filing process, whether they are applying for the first time or appealing a denied claim.
The Three Year Rule
The SSA evaluates cancer-related disability applications under what is called the Three Year Rule. If a claimant’s illness has been successfully treated and there is no evidence of a recurrence for three or more years, the claimant will no longer qualify for SSDI.
However, those awarded SSDI due to cancer treatment are guaranteed to be considered disabled for three years, even if the cancer goes into remission, and therefore will be able to receive benefits until three years has passed.
Cancer Treatment and Disability
A cancer diagnosis does not automatically qualify a claimant for benefits. Often, claimants apply for SSDI due to the nature of their disabling symptoms that arise due to cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy.
Patients can develop serious and disabling conditions even when their cancer treatment is successful. In these cases, their disability will be evaluated outside of the cancer diagnosis itself. The Blue Book will be used to determine whether the applicant’s symptoms are severe enough to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.
A Social Security Disability Benefits Lawyer in Stockton & the Surrounding Areas
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, and possibly undergone cancer treatment that had severe side effects, contact us at Peña & Bromberg today.
As an experienced Social Security law firm, our Social Security denial lawyers in Stockton and the surrounding areas can help you get approved for disability benefits, or file an appeal if your original claim was denied. Contact us today at (559) 314-2947 to schedule a free consultation.