Special Rules For Cancer
If you are diagnosed with active cancer that the VA determines is service-related, you will likely receive an automatic temporary disability rating of 100 percent. This rating continues for as long as your cancer is active, and then for another six months following the successful completion of a treatment program, such as chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery.
Six months after your cancer treatment ends, the VA requires you to undergo another examination to evaluate the current status of your diagnosis. It then assigns you a new rating based on the results of the exam. Typically, if the exam shows your cancer is in remission, you receive a reduced rating based on the extent of your ongoing treatment or residual symptoms of the cancer.
How Breast Cancer Qualifies For Disability Benefits
Social Security Disability Insurance is a federal disability insurance benefit for those who have worked and paid into Social Security. According to the American Cancer Society, those who have any type of cancer may be able to have an SSDI application processed more quickly.
Benefits are limited to those who are unable to perform substantial gainful activity, according to Liz Supinski, director of data science at the Society for Human Resource Management.
There are limits on how much a person can earn and still collect, she says. Its about $1,200 for most people, or around $2,000 per month for those who are blind.
That means most people who are able to qualify for disability benefits are not working for others, Supinski says. Self-employment is common among both disabled workers and those with disabilities severe enough to qualify for benefits.
For those with stage 1 or stage 2 breast cancer, youll need to come through the medical-vocational allowance door, Summers says. Usually, this involves providing financial documentation that youre unable to make more than $1,220 per month because of breast cancer.
You should also be able to prove that your breast cancer affects whats called your residual functional capacity for work.
For example, you may not be able to stand for longer periods of time, lift a certain amount of weight, or use your hands and arms efficiently, which can be results of treatments like surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.
How To Apply For Disability When You Have Cancer
Disability benefits are a financial lifeline for individuals with cancer and their families. Benefits, which are paid monthly, can cover regular bills, medical expenses, and everyday living costs. Although some cancers are highly treatable, even treatments can stop you from working for months and sometimes permanently. When this is the case, Social Security disability may be available to you.
Don’t Miss: How Much Does Sdi Pay In California
Eligibility Criteria For The Disability Tax Credit
There are different;ways;for which;a person can be eligible for the disability tax credit . The person must meet one of the following;criteria:
- be blind
- be markedly restricted in at least one of the basic activities of daily living
- be significantly restricted in two or more or the basic activities of daily living
- need life-sustaining therapy
In addition, the person’s impairment must meet all of the following criteria:
- be prolonged, which means the impairment has lasted, or is expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months
- be present all or substantially all the time
Learn more about the;eligibility criteria:;
Reasons Disability Benefits For Cancers May Be Denied
Applications for benefits related to conditions in the CAL program are handled in an expedited manner, but it can be misleading to think that they are literally automatically approved. There are certain conditions which must be met. If the SSA finds that those requirements have not been satisfied, you could be denied disability benefits, even if you have a form of cancer on the list of those approved for automatic approval.
You May Like: Chronic Sciatica Disability
Disability Benefits For People With Cancer
All of the medical problems that make someone eligible to receive disability benefits are listed in the Social Security Administrations Blue Book. Each listing in the Blue Book has a set of requirements that must be met to be considered eligible for disability benefits. Not every type of cancer has a listing in the Blue Book, and the ones that do, have very specific requirements, so please read this information carefully.
In general, any cancer that is Stage IV or terminal will automatically qualify a person to receive disability benefits. A very serious cancer diagnosis qualifies for the Compassionate Allowance program, which expedites the claim for disability benefits to start receiving money quickly. To qualify for Compassionate Allowance, the cancer must meet one of these requirements:
- The cancer has spread beyond the region of origin
- The cancer is inoperable
- The cancer is recurrent despite treatment
If your cancer meets one of these requirements, you should submit a claim as soon as possible for disability benefits. You will also need to submit medical records, such as test results, MRIs, and a cancer diagnosis from an oncologist at our cancer center. The Social Security Administration will automatically flag your claim for Compassionate Allowance because of the seriousness of the diagnosis. You dont have to ask for Compassionate Allowance.
When Will You Be Considered No Longer Disabled From Cancer
If your original cancer have been successfully treated, and there is no evidence of their recurrence for three or more years, then your cancer will no longer meet any of the SSA’s impairment listing requirements. This is durational rule for cancer is known as the “three-year rule.”
Alternatively, the three-year rule also means that if disability benefits are awarded to an applicant because of his or her cancer, the disability award will stand for a minimum of three years, even if the cancer seems to have been successfully treated prior to the end of the three-year period.
Note that cancer is subject to the same one-year duration requirement for getting disability benefits as any other medical condition.
|Take our disability quiz to help you determine whether you qualify for benefits.|
Recommended Reading: Va Compensation For Bipolar Disorder
Disability Living Allowance For Adults
Disability living allowance is a payment for people who have mobility problems or need personal care.
Personal Independence Payment has been replacing DLA for disabled people. For people born on or before 8 April 1948, DLA will continue for as long as they qualify for it. For people born after 8 April 1948, DLA will end. You will be told when it will stop. You will continue to get it until that date.
You can now only apply for DLA for children if they are under 16. You can no longer make a new application for DLA if you are 16 or over.
You can apply instead for:
- PIP if you’re 16 or older and below State Pension age
- Attendance Allowance if you’re State Pension age or older and you’re not getting DLA
Qualifying For Ssdi As A Cancer Patient
Chemo and radiation can have many unpleasant side effects, including vomiting, cognitive impairment, and chronic fatigue. While theres no doubt that these symptoms can make working difficult, you wont be approved for benefits simply because you are undergoing cancer treatment.
To qualify for SSDI, your condition must be expected to last one year or longer or result in your death. Cancer treatment symptoms typically last less than one year and are not severe enough to prevent you from working the entire time.
Cancer that is caught in the early stages and responds well to treatment wont qualify for disability benefits. Only advanced cancers that meet one of the following criteria are eligible for SSDI benefits:
Read Also: Gerald Welt Attorney Las Vegas
You Need More Than The Diagnosis
Unfortunately, a cancer diagnosis alone will not be enough for you to start receiving your benefits. The most typical way that those fighting cancer will receive disability benefits is as a result of their treatment, and not necessarily the cancer itself. This is particularly true for cancers that are not listed in the Blue Book.
If your form of cancer doesnt immediately qualify, you will seek a medical vocational allowance, which takes into account several factors, most importantly your residual functional capacity, in order to determine whether you will receive benefits.
For example, chemotherapy, the common cancer treatment, often comes with extreme side-effects like prolonged nausea, extreme fatigue, and mental confusion. If these symptoms reduce your capacity to work or eliminate it completely, you will usually receive benefits based on a medical vocational allowance.
When You Became Disabled Due To Cancer
People usually do not known exactly when they contracted cancer because each cancer grows at a different rate. If your tumor was deemed inoperable or otherwise untreatable, the SSA will likely use the date that the doctor rendered his or her prognosis as your disability onset date. However, you may be able to prove that you became disabled even before your prognosis was established.
To determine whether you were disabled prior to the time when your cancer was found to be untreatable, the SSA will consider the following factors:
- When you first reported symptoms to your doctor
- What type of cancer you were diagnosed with
- Where the cancer is located, and
- And how far the cancer had spread when it was first diagnosed.
Usually benefits are awarded up to six months prior to when the applicant was first diagnosed with cancer, unless there was sufficient evidence to prove otherwise.
You May Like: Is Degenerative Disc Disease Considered A Disability?
The Cancer Is Recurring
A recurring cancer is one that returns after chemo or radiation or one that was removed before returning to an area near the site of the original surgery. Recurrent cancer usually qualifies for automatic approval of benefits, even if significant time has passed between the cancer removal and the recurrence.
The criteria for receiving SSDI as a cancer patient are outlined in the Blue Book listing 13.00 Cancer-Adult.
Social Security Disability Benefits And Cancer
For the latest on our free resources about;financial and other issues facing patients and their loved ones, please sign up for our email newsletter on our website:;
If you have been diagnosed with cancer, you may be wondering if youll qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Unfortunately, the answer may not be a simple yes or no. The Social Security Administration has different eligibility criteria for each applicant. Some people will qualify for disability benefits with just a cancer diagnosis, but others will need biopsy reports or physicians notes proving the cancer is advanced or recurrent to be approved. Your eligibility will depend on your unique form and stage of cancer.
Medical Qualification with the Blue Book
The SSA uses a medical guide called the Blue Book to evaluate every cancer applicant to determine if he or she is eligible for financial assistance. Fortunately, the entire Blue Book is online, so you may be able to see if you qualify today.
Cancers that are aggressive or historically hard to treat will qualify with just a diagnosis. If you have been diagnosed one of the following cancers, you should automatically, medically qualify for disability benefits:
- Esophageal cancer
- Any small cell cancer
- Thyroid cancer
All cancer listings can be found in Section 13.00 of the SSAs Blue Book. Be sure to review the medical resource with your oncologist to get a good idea as to whether or not youll be approved.
You May Like: Can You Get Social Security Disability If You Have Copd
Can I Get Social Security Disability For Throat Cancer
Author Attorney Greg Reed:
Throat Cancer is rare, comprising only 3-5% of all cancers. Risk factors include smoking, alcohol, age, and gender men over age 50 are most likely to have the disorder.
Cancer is one of the easiest conditions to get disability benefits for. There is a special program which pre-approves serious cases of Throat Cancer for benefits. Call 512-454-4000 to get help today.
It is also easily cured with success rates of up to 95% if the disease is caught in the early stages.
Early symptoms include sore throat, difficulty swallowing, and coughing. Because these symptoms are similar to common viral infections, throat cancer often goes ignored.
However, persistent symptoms- including lumps in the neck, trouble breathing, and drastic weight loss- could indicate throat cancer.
Surgery and chemotherapy are usually successful in removing the cancer. Unfortunately, treatment is both expensive and time-consuming. The side effects of treatment can be debilitating in their own right.
Throat cancer can prevent you from being able to work.
Long hospital stays, frequent doctor visits, and the nausea and fatigue associated with treatment could make it difficult to continue working. The Social Security Administration understands this, and cancer is one of the easiest conditions to get disability benefits for. In fact, there is a special program which pre-approves serious cases of Throat Cancer for benefits.
Social Security Disability Relief For Cancer Sufferers
The lawyers of Hardison & Cochran realize the struggles that individuals and families in North Carolina face after a diagnosis of cancer. In addition to undergoing intensive and costly treatment, a cancer patient may be unable to work and earn income.
If you are in this situation, the Social Security Disability benefits program may offer relief. Depending on the type of cancer or the stage of the disease, ;you may qualify for monthly benefits. You may also be eligible to have a decision on your benefits claim expedited.
Consider the following:
Qualifying for SSD Benefits with Cancer
If you have been diagnosed with cancer, it may not automatically qualify you for SSD benefits.
First, you need to meet your work credit requirements. In other words, you need to have been paying into the Social Security Disability system for a certain number of years before your cancer arose.
Second, the type of cancer you are suffering from must be found in the Social Security Administrations Blue Book. This is a list of impairments that are treated as disabilities as a matter of law, and it describes the evidence need to establish that you have the impairment. If your cancer is not listed, you may be able to demonstrate that it is equal in severity to a listed cancer type.
The North Carolina Disability Determination Services team that will review your claim will consider many factors when deciding whether your cancer classifies as a disability, including:
What Else Will I Have To Show In Addition To My Medical Information
There are other requirements for receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. These include:
- You cannot earn more than the 2017 earning limit, which is $1,170 per month. If you are earning more than this limit, the SSA will determine that, although you have cancer, it is not preventing you from working.
- You must have enough work credits. In other words, you must have worked and paid in to the Social Security system for long enough to have accumulated sufficient work credits to be eligible for disability benefits.
What Medical Evidence Do I Need To Provide
We will need to provide evidence;of where your cancer first appeared, and how extensive the cancer is.
We will have to give details of your cancer treatment, including how many treatments you have undergone, how frequently you have treatments, how long your doctor expects to do the treatments, and how you are responding to the treatment.
We will also need to show any residual effects of the cancer therapy.
We can document this through:
- Doctors notes
Don’t Miss: California Disability Amount
Disabilities Related To Cancer Treatment
Even if a patients cancer treatment is successful, they can be left with serious impairments. For example, heart, lung, liver, and bone problems have been linked to chemotherapy, while cognitive dysfunction and bone weakness can be long-term effects of radiation.
If you develop a disabling condition as the result of successful cancer treatment, your disability will be evaluated without considering the cancer diagnosis. The Blue Book criteria for your specific condition can offer insight as to whether your long-term side effects of cancer treatment are severe enough to qualify for SSDI benefits.
When Surgery Or Treatment Is Not Successful
If you had surgery to remove your tumor but it was not able to be fully removed, it is termed “unresectable.” Under the SSA’s impairment listings for most types of cancer, this will qualify you for disability benefits. In addition, if your surgical margins are positive following surgery, your cancer should be termed unresectable, qualifying for benefits under most of the cancer listings.
If your tumor is removed but then returns in an area near the site of the original surgery, or if a tumor returns after chemo ro radiation, your cancer will be considered “recurrent” under the listing for your particular cancer. An recurrent cancer automatically qualifies for disability benefits under most of the cancer listings, including lung cancer, colon cancer, kidney cancer, prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and uterine and ovarian cancer . This is applicable even if there is a considerable time lapse between when you first underwent surgery or treatment and the time the cancer returned.
If your tumor is considered inoperable, you will qualify under most of the cancer listings.
If you underwent surgery to remove your cancer and you suffer from lymphedema as a result, your condition may be evaluated under the musculoskeletal or cardiovascular listings, depending on your symptoms. Lymphedema can occur after any cancer, especially breast cancer and melanoma.
Don’t Miss: Do You Accrue Pto While On Pto