If you have been diagnosed with cancer, you may be unable to continue to work. Individuals with a cancer diagnosis that keeps them from working may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. These monthly cash benefits can help you pay for your housing expenses, medical care, and basic living expenses. Additionally, if you have been diagnosed with cancer, you may be able to have your Social Security disability application processed more quickly. 

Discuss Your Case With a Social Security Disability Lawyer Today

If you are interested in applying for disability benefits due to your cancer diagnosis, you should discuss your case with an attorney as soon as possible. At Disability Advocates Group, we will carefully review your case and give you an idea of whether you’re qualified or not. We can also help you gather the paperwork you need and complete your application. Contact us today to begin the process of obtaining Social Security disability benefits. 

The Benefits of Working With an SSDI Lawyer After a Cancer Diagnosis

The process of applying for disability benefits is challenging. Every year, the Social Security Administration denies thousands of applicants who’ve been diagnosed with cancer. If you’re applying for disability benefits due to a cancer diagnosis, we recommend discussing your case with a Social Security lawyer as soon as you can. Doing so will improve the odds that the Social Security Administration will grant you benefits.

We have assisted individuals suffering from all types of Cancer to get the Social Security Disability benefits they need and deserve. Some examples include:

Does a Cancer Diagnosis Qualify Me for Disability Benefits?

Chemotherapy and radiation treatments have many unpleasant side effects, including chronic fatigue, cognitive impairment, and vomiting. These symptoms can make working difficult, if not impossible, for cancer patients. Unfortunately, cancer patients aren’t approved for disability benefits simply because they’re undergoing cancer treatment.

An applicant’s condition must be expected to last one year longer or result in his or her death to qualify for SSDI benefits. In many cases, the symptoms associated with treating cancer typically last less than one year. They may not be severe enough to prevent an applicant from working the entire time. For example, when cancer is caught in the early stages in response to treatment well, it’s unlikely that an applicant will qualify for disability benefits. 

Qualifying for SSDI Benefits Using the Blue Book

Social Security examiners who review applications for benefits use a guidebook commonly called the Blue Book. The Blue Book is a medical guide for the Social Security Administration that helps examiners decide whether the applicant meets the criteria to be medically approved for benefits. There are different ways to qualify for disability benefits with a cancer diagnosis under the Blue Book. The Blue Book lists different types of cancer, broken down by or separated by where the cancer first began to develop. 

Each type of cancer has different eligibility requirements. Typically, the more severe the cancer, the more likely the patient will be medically qualified for benefits. For example, a person diagnosed with esophageal cancer will be qualified for disability benefits automatically. Likewise, if a person has lung cancer that has returned after treatment or is inoperable, he or she will be qualified for benefits from a medical perspective. However, if the applicant has been diagnosed with breast cancer but hasn’t spread to other body parts, the applicant may not be approved for benefits right away. Typically, only those with advanced cancers that meet one of the following criteria are eligible for SSDI benefits:

  •  The cancer is considered inoperable or unresectable with surgery
  •  The cancer has metastasized or spread to other places
  •  The cancer is recurring

Submitting an Application for Social Security Disability After a Cancer Diagnosis

While you’re applying for Social Security disability benefits due to cancer, your lawyer can ensure that all your medical documents are in order. Social Security applications require a significant amount of paperwork and medical documents. If you do not include all of the correct documents or your documents are missing information, your application will be denied. Specifically, the Social Security Administration disability determination services will review your claim and consider the following:

  •  Your physician’s notes
  •  Pathology notes
  •  Prescription records
  •  Surgical records

When examiners can’t find the information they need to decide whether your cancer diagnosis meets the criteria to be considered disabled, they will deny your claim. Your Social Security lawyer will act as a liaison between your physician, the Social Security Administration, and any other parties involved in your application. They will also ensure that your application is accurate, complete, and presented in the best way possible for your claim to be approved. 

Disability Onset Date

You may be wondering whether you’re entitled to benefits as soon as you apply or from the time you were first diagnosed with cancer. In general, cancer patients are awarded SSDI benefits up to six months before they were first diagnosed, based on the following factors:

  •  When the patient first reported having symptoms
  •  What type of cancer they have
  •  Where the cancer is located
  •  How far the cancer has spread

By submitting detailed medical records, including the results of diagnostic tests, you can ensure that you receive as much back pay as possible. The Social Security Administration has what’s known as a three-year rule when evaluating cancer-related applications for benefits. 

If your cancer has already been treated and there’s no evidence of a recurrence for three years or more, the cancer will no longer meet the impairment listing requirements. 

Connect With a Los Angeles Social Security Disability Lawyer Today

The Social Security Administration rejects many first-time applications. Working with a lawyer to submit your application will increase your chances of approval. One of our skilled lawyers can also help you appeal a denial of your claim and seek expedited benefits. Contact Disability Advocates Group today to get connected with one of our experienced lawyers.