Lymphoma is a type of cancer in a person’s lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is the bodily system that helps fight infection and disease. As there are lymphatic tissues throughout a person’s body, lymphoma can begin nearly anywhere. There are two main types of lymphoma: Hodgkin’s and Non-Hodgkin’s. The symptoms of lymphoma can be severe and make it difficult to engage in day-to-day activities, including work, which is why lymphoma patients may need assistance with social security disability.
Reach Out to a Lymphoma Disability Benefits Attorney
If you’ve been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s or Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, you may be entitled to Social Security benefits. Even if the Social Security Administration has already denied your application for benefits, you still have options. Reach out to the experienced Los Angeles disability attorney at Disability Advocates Group today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your legal options.
What Is Lymphoma?
Lymphoma describes several different types of blood cancers ranging in severity from survivable cancers to those often fatal. Most people who are diagnosed with lymphoma are diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in middle age. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a more serious cancer diagnosis because it’s difficult to treat successfully, in part because patients are generally older. Those diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma are typically younger and have better long-term chances of survival. Both types of lymphoma can cause painful and debilitating symptoms, including the following:
- Night sweats
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Weight loss
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of appetite
Applying for Social Security Disability for Lymphoma
When the symptoms of lymphoma are severe enough to prevent a person from working, disability benefits through the Social Security Administration may be available. There are two main types of disability benefits. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is available for those unable to work due to a disability and have enough work credits from paying into the social security system. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are available for applicants with minimal resources. In some cases, applicants are eligible for both types of benefits.
Obtaining Social Security Benefits with Lymphoma
Being diagnosed with lymphoma isn’t enough to qualify a person for social security benefits. Only those so limited in their ability to work by their lymphoma that they cannot find work in full-time employment will qualify for benefits. The Social Security Administration uses a tool called the Blue Book to determine which applicants are eligible for benefits. There is a category in the blue book that contains a listing of impairments specifically for lymphoma.
A doctor must confirm specific diagnoses before an applicant can be approved for benefits, including Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. You will need to provide evidence that a medical doctor has diagnosed you with aggressive Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that chemotherapy or radiation does not cure, at least in the short term, to obtain benefits.
Alternatively, you will need to show that you’ve been diagnosed with a subtype of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma referred to as “indolent.” This type of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is so persistent that it requires more than a single round of chemotherapy or radiation therapy within 12 months.
Additional Ways to Meet the Lymphoma Disability Listing
If you do not fall into these two categories, you may be able to meet the lymphoma listing if you had to undergo a bone marrow or stem cell transplant. The Social Security Administration acknowledges that these types of treatments are so taxing on a person’s body and on the immune system that no one can work while receiving them. Suppose you have been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In that case, you will need to provide evidence that your cancer failed to go into remission for at least one year from when you finished your chemotherapy or radiation treatment.
These regulations are in line with a general principle that a person’s disability or impairment needs to last at least a year or be expected to result in the person’s death to qualify for benefits. Many people diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma have a successful outcome, and their condition will be in remission within a year of diagnosis and treatment. As a result, they may not qualify for benefits.
Residual Functional Capacity
What happens if your lymphoma doesn’t need any of the criteria discussed above? You still may be able to qualify for benefits if your residual functional capacity is so limited that full-time work is impossible. It’s always wise to discuss your case with a social security disability attorney to determine whether your condition meets the requirements.
Some of the most common symptoms of lymphoma are fatigue and weakness. These symptoms can become so severe that an employee cannot be physically and mentally present at work, requiring them to sleep several hours of the day. In these cases, a disability attorney can help lymphoma patients prove that their lymphoma makes it impossible for them to work.
Appealing a Denial of Your Application for Benefits
The Social Security Administration denies the vast majority of applications for benefits. Do not give up hope if you have applied for benefits and received notification that your application has been denied. You can request a reconsideration of your case, but you will need to do so within 60 days of receiving the letter. If your request for reconsideration is denied, you can appeal the denial.
At this point in the process, you will be able to attend a disability hearing with your attorney. You can present evidence demonstrating your inability to work due to your diagnosis. At Disability Advocates Group, we have a proven track record of success in appellate cases.
Contact a Lymphoma Disability Attorney Today
If you’ve been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, you will likely qualify for Social Security benefits. Contact the Los Angeles Social Security attorneys at Disability Advocates Group as soon as possible to schedule your initial consultation. We will review your situation and determine if you’re eligible for Social Security benefits.