In sunshiny Los Angeles, many residents develop skin cancer. At Disability Advocates Group, our experienced Social Security disability attorneys are often asked whether a person can collect disability benefits for a skin cancer diagnosis. In cases in which a person’s skin cancer has left him or her unable to work any job, he or she may qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

Discuss Your Case With a Los Angeles Skin Cancer Disability Attorney

Obtaining Social Security disability benefits for skin cancer isn’t always an easy process. If you or your loved one is suffering from skin cancer and unable to work, we recommend contacting the experienced Social Security disability attorneys at Disability Advocates Group as soon as possible. One of our skilled attorneys will review your case, answer your questions, and help you collect the Social Security benefits you deserve.

The Four Primary Types of Skin Cancer

There are four primary types of skin cancer. The first type of skin cancer is called basal cell carcinoma, which makes up 95% of all skin cancer cases in the United States. This type of cancer is almost always contained in one area of the body, and it does not spread. The cure rate is very high, and the treatment is typically quick and relatively straightforward.

Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer. This type of skin cancer can spread to other body parts, making it more challenging to treat. Melanoma is the most well-known type of skin cancer, but it is less common. Melanoma can spread quickly. Patients with melanoma need surgery to remove the cancer. If the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes and beyond, the patient may need chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. Finally, Kaposi sarcoma is another rare type of skin cancer that affects patients with suppressed immune systems.

Qualifying for Social Security Disability with Skin Cancer

Thankfully, most types of skin cancer are curable. While this is good news, it also means that it can be more difficult to prove to the Social Security Administration that you cannot work because of a skin cancer diagnosis. Social Security disability benefits pay monthly cash benefits to people who cannot work for a year or more due to their disability. As a result, you will need to prove that your skin cancer is expected to prevent you from working for up to a year or more. There are three ways to prove that your skin cancer makes you unable to work for at least a year.

Meeting the Blue Book Social Security Listing

The Social Security Administration uses a listings book, commonly called a Blue Book, that describes specific ailments that qualify for disability benefits. You or your attorney will need to provide evidence that you have all the requirements of a given listing in the Blue Book to qualify for disability benefits. For example, to meet the Blue Book listing for skin cancer, you will need to prove that you have one or more of the following conditions:

  • Melanoma that has spread to nearby skin or distant sites
  • Melanoma that is spread to his lymph node that is clinically a parent or two four or more lymph nodes
  • Melanoma that comes back even after the cancer and skin around the cancer has been removed
  • Carcinoma or sarcoma that has spread beyond the local lymph nodes

Equaling a Blue Book Listing for Skin Cancer

Another way to qualify for social security benefits is to show that your impairments are similar to a listing. In other words, if you aren’t able to meet one of the skin cancer listings mentioned above, you may be able to prove that your skin cancer is equal to one of those listings. You will need to provide evidence showing that your impairment is similar to another listing and equals the listing in length and severity.

Proving Inability to Work for At Least a Year Due to Skin Cancer

Even if you don’t meet or equal the skin cancer listing in the Blue Book, you can still qualify for Social Security disability benefits if you can prove that your skin cancer makes it impossible for you to do any work in a job for at least a year. You will need to show that you cannot perform any job that falls within your abilities based on the assessment used by the Social Security Administration. The Social Security Administration will consider your education level, age, work experience, and your impairments. Your parents will be assessed using a “Residual Functional Capacity” assessment.

To show that you meet or equal a listing or that you can’t work for a year or more, you will need to use your medical records to provide the proper medical evidence. Your medical records will need to include the type of cancer you have, where it started, spread, and information about any biopsies. They should also include operative and pathology notes as well as all of the treatments you’ve received, including details about their length, type, and effect.

Our Los Angeles Attorneys Fight for Social Security Benefits for Patients With Cancer

Proving that your skin cancer diagnosis prevents you from working is challenging. As mentioned above, you will need to provide detailed medical records that demonstrate how your skin cancer affects your ability to work. For this reason, it’s crucial that you discuss your case with an experienced Los Angeles Social Security disability attorney. Especially in skin cancer cases, the prognosis can be good, making it more challenging for patients to qualify for the benefits they deserve.

Contact a Skin Cancer Disability Attorney Today

At Disability Advocates Group, our experienced Los Angeles Social Security attorneys have successfully handled many skin cancer cases in Orange County, Long Beach, and the Los Angeles area. Our attorneys are happy to answer your questions and help you understand the Social Security benefits to which you may be entitled. We will assist you throughout the entire process, from submitting your application to appealing a denial of your claim. Contact the Los Angeles-based Disability Advocates Group today to schedule your free initial consultation.