Leukemia is a relatively rare but devastating type of blood cancer. Every year, fewer than 200,000 cases occur, and there are several different types of leukemia. Some kinds affect children, and others are more common in adults. The symptoms can make it difficult, if not impossible, for a patient to return to work. If you have been diagnosed with leukemia and cannot work, you may be eligible for monthly Social Security Disability benefits.
Discuss Your Case With a Leukemia Disability Attorney in Los Angeles
Contacting an experienced attorney is one of the best things you can do. At Disability Advocates Group, we will help you submit a thorough and accurate application for benefits. We will also help you appeal your case if your application is denied, advocating assertively for your rights. Our Social Security Disability attorneys have helped many clients successfully obtain the benefits they deserve. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.
Qualifying for Social Security Disability With Leukemia
The Social Security Administration recognizes leukemia as a qualifying impairment for benefits in its Blue Book. However, whether an individual will qualify for benefits depends on the type and severity of leukemia. In other words, the Social Security Administration does not consider every applicant diagnosed with leukemia to be disabled to qualify for benefits. To be eligible for Social Security benefits, the applicant must have one of two types of leukemia:
- Acute leukemia (lymphocytic or myeloid), or
- Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML)
Specifically, the applicant must have chronic myeloid leukemia in an accelerated phase. The applicant will need to prove that there has been or will be an increase in myeloblasts. Additionally, if the leukemia is acting like acute leukemia or the leukemia continues to worsen even after being treated, he or she may qualify for benefits.
How Long Can a Leukemia Patient Continue Getting Social Security Benefits?
If you are approved for Social Security benefits, the Social Security Administration will consider you disabled for 24 months from the initial diagnosis, or your most recent relapse. Alternatively, the Social Security Administration may consider you disabled one year from the date of a stem cell transplant, whichever happens later.
After this timeframe passes, the Social Security Administration will reconsider your case to see if you are still experiencing the same type of side effects from leukemia or treatments. They will review your functional limitations to determine whether you are still considered disabled and qualify for Social Security benefits. During this reconsideration process, you will need to provide evidence to Social Security demonstrating that you still qualify for benefits, such as:
- The types of treatments you receive and how often you receive them
- The success of the treatments and whether you have any side effects from them
- Evidence of the origin and extent of your leukemia
- Medical records
- Results of biopsies
- Pathology reports
- Bone marrow results for acute leukemia
- Chromosome analysis for chronic myeloid leukemia
- For CCL, lymphocytic laboratory results of 10,000/mm3 for at least three months
Documenting Your Impairment
If your diagnosis doesn’t meet the listing requirements in the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book, you still have options. You can provide documentation from your doctor regarding how your impairments prohibit you from performing your prior work. You can also provide documentation from your doctor showing that your leukemia makes it impossible for you to find another occupation. There are many symptoms that prevent people from returning to work, such as:
- Weakness and fatigue
- Severe or repetitive infections that may require hospitalization
- Joint pain
- Night sweats
- Recurrent nosebleeds
- Unexplained weight loss
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Shortness of breath
- Tiny red spots on the skin called petechiae
Leukemia can impose disabling limitations that make it difficult or impossible to sit, lift or carry things, or stand or walk. Our team can help you make sure these limitations are documented in your medical record with specificity. We know how to work with your team to obtain medical records that state the specific reasons you’re no longer able to perform your prior occupation or any other occupation, allowing you to qualify for benefits.
Compassionate Allowance for Leukemia
Chronic myeloid leukemia and acute leukemia are both eligible for Social Security Benefits through the Compassionate Allowances program. This program offers an accelerated process for severe diseases. It allows applicants to receive the benefits they need more quickly than they would regularly. Suppose you’ve been diagnosed with one of these types. In that case, approval will not be an issue as long as your application for benefits clearly states you are diagnosed and your documentation proves it.
One of the attorneys at the Disability Advocates Group can help you apply for a Compassionate Allowance. We will ensure that your application is thorough and that all of your documentation proves your claims for a Compassionate Allowance. Doing so will help you automatically qualify and your application will move through the system faster, getting you the help you need and deserve.
Why You Need an Experienced Social Security Attorney
Applying for Social Security benefits is not easy. You will need to submit multiple documents from your doctors and undergo evaluations. Working with an attorney can help you increase your chances of obtaining the benefits you deserve. At Disability Advocates Group, we will work with you throughout the entire process, from applying to appealing a denial of your application when necessary.
Contact a Los Angeles Leukemia Disability Attorney Today
Trying to cope with leukemia while not being able to return to work can be challenging. At Disability Advocates Group, our team of lawyers and legal staff work diligently to help patients with leukemia qualify for the Social Security benefits they deserve. We have an in-depth understanding of the Social Security disability application process. Our attorneys use their knowledge and experience to advocate diligently for clients. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you submit your application, or appeal your denial for Social Security benefits.