I Have Breast Cancer Why Was I Denied Social Security Disability Benefits
If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, you may be surprised to learn that you dont automatically qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income benefits. The Social Security Administration requires that all applicants for SSDI and SSI meet the following criteria:
- An applicant must earn no more than $1,040 per month from work.
- The applicant must have a severe medical condition that interferes with basic work activity.
- The disabling condition must be expected to last at least 12 months, or result in death.
When breast cancer is detected early, aggressive treatment can lead to the remission of the disease within a relatively short period of time. Many women with breast cancer do not qualify for SSDI or SSI because their condition is not expected to last more than a few months. The SSA is likely to reject any benefit claims for Stages 0, I, and II breast cancer.
The SSA does recognize that breast cancer can be a severe impairment; breast cancer is included in the Social Security Administrations Listing of Impairments. In order for an applicant to receive SSDI or SSI for breast cancer, the cancer must meet at least one of the following criteria:
Patients with stage IV breast cancer may automatically qualify for disability benefits under the Social Security Administrations Compassionate Allowance Program.
For;a free evaluation;with a compassionate Omaha Social Security disability lawyer, contact Cuddigan Law today at 402-933-5405.
What Is A Disability Under Ada
The Americans with Disabilities Act may apply to you if:
- You have a physical or mental problem that substantially limits one or more of your major life activities
- There is a record of you having had such a problem in the past.
- Other people think you have such a problem, even if you dont actually have it.
Some of the major life activities covered by ADA include but are not limited to:
- Caring for yourself
Can Your Social Security Disability Application Be Expedited
If you have stage 4 breast cancer or breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body and cannot be removed by surgery or other methods, then you may qualify for fast-track approval under the Social Security Administrations Compassionate Allowances program.
Specifically, you may qualify for the Compassionate Allowances program if you have:
Stage IV breast carcinoma.
Recurrent breast cancer.
Inflammatory breast cancer.
If you have been diagnosed with any of these types of breast cancer, then your application for Social Security disability may be decided in weeks rather than months because of the Compassionate Allowances program.
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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.
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:
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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.
The Disability Tax Credit
The Disability Tax Credit is a non-refundable tax creditthat reducesthe amount of income tax you pay each year. ;It also enables you to qualify for other tax deductions and in some cases, assistance programs.; The intent of the DTC is to acknowledge the unavoidable limitations in income and additional expenses not faced by the average taxpayer.
To qualify, you must have a severe and prolonged mental or physical impairment, subject to approval by the Canada Revenue Agency.; You must apply and be approved for the tax credit prior to filling out your tax return to be eligible for the credit.;
To apply, you need to complete and submit FormT2201 to the Canada Revenue Agency.; You complete Part A, and your oncologist or physician completes Part B.; Some physicians charge a fee for completing this paperwork as it can take time to fill it out.; Check with your physician ahead of time.;
You must demonstrate in the application that your physical or mental impairment will not resolve soon and significantly impacts your ability to participate in daily activities.; You are not simply verifying that you are sick you need to demonstrate that your illness has impacted your functioning.; If your application is approved, the CRA may approve it indefinitely or for a temporary period.
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Have You Or A Loved One Been Denied Social Security Disability Benefits
If you or a loved on has been denied Social Security Disability Benefits you need to speak with an experienced SSD attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Virginia Beach office directly at 757.490.3500 to schedule your free consultation. We have offices throughout Virginia including Chesapeake, Newport News, Norfolk and Suffolk.
How To Qualify With Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is listed in Section 13.10 of the Blue Book. To qualify under this listing, you must meet one of the following criteria:
- Your breast cancer has spread to your collar bone, chest wall or skin, or to 10 or more auxiliary nodes
- Your cancer has returned despite anticancer therapies
- You have small-cell breast cancer, IBC, or metastatic breast cancer
- You have secondary lymphedema caused by cancer treatments requiring surgery to restore function of an arm
Anyone with IBC or metastatic breast cancer will have her claim automatically expedited, as these conditions always medically qualify and warrant immediate approval.
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Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefit
Patients may be eligible for the Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefit if they :
- cannot work at any job on a regular basis because of a severe and prolonged disability or illness
- have paid sufficiently into the plan
- are under 65 years of age
Even if someone receives CPP-D Benefit payments, they may be able to earn a certain limited amount of income. If they go back to work but find it too difficult because of disability, a fast-track system allows them to go back onto CPP-D Benefits.
People who receive CPP-D benefits may have access to vocational rehabilitation support as well. See the Government of Canadas Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefit Vocational Rehabilitation Program.
Social Security Disability Benefits For Breast Cancer
Far too many of the over 200,000 people diagnosed with breast cancer each year are eventually unable to maintain gainful employment due to the condition and/or treatment. This blog shares expert information on the Social Security Disability benefits available to ease the financial burden of those with breast cancer unable to work.
A diminished ability to work has predictable and negative results. Bills pile up, some of them medical, and without a steady income there is no way to pay them. However, if you have been diagnosed with breast cancer and are expected to be out of work for at least 12 months, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits.
The Social Security Administration will consider you disabled and eligible for benefits if your condition:
- Is anticipated to last at least a year or end in death;
- Prevents you from doing any work that you are trained and qualified for; and
- Makes it unreasonably difficult for you to master a new occupation.
What Benefits Are Available?
The SSA has two different benefit programs available to support people with disabilities and serious health conditions. Each offers financial help to a different group of people.
Medical Eligibility with Breast Cancer
Sarcoma of the breast requires one of the following criteria to be met for eligibility:
- Ongoing and soft tissue sarcoma that keeps coming back after treatment; or
- Soft tissue sarcoma with local or distant metastases.
Compassionate Allowances Program
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Learn Which Types Of Cancer Qualify For Social Security Disability Benefits
The Social Security Administration automatically qualifies individuals with certain medical conditions and diseases for disability benefits, including many types of cancer. There is still a process involved and certain requirements must be met, but you may be able to get expedited approval for disability benefits through the SSA, if you have cancer. The SSA recognizes that cancer and treatments for the disease can prevent a person from being able to work. Even with a qualifying condition, it is always advisable to enlist the help of a full-service social security disability advocacy firm, such as The Disability Champions, since various missteps can result in initial denial and the need to go through an appeals process.
You May Prove Eligibility Another Way
You may also be eligible for Social Security disability if you have breast cancer and you:
Have symptoms that are equal in severity to another listing in the Listing of Impairments.
You have another medical condition that meets the requirements of a listing in the Listing of Impairments.
You lack the residual capacity to work because of your medical condition.
Regardless of how you qualify for Social Security disability, you must be able to provide documentation of your diagnosis and treatment. You will need copies of:
Your doctors notes.
Treatment records from a hospital or clinic.
You will also benefit from a letter from your oncologist describing how your disease or your treatment prevents you from being able to work.
Breast Cancer Total Disability And Your Own Occupation
It means that if you are unable to perform the substantial duties of your own job, no matter what you do for a living, you will be considered totally disabled from performing your own occupation as per the definition set out in your disability policy.; The own occupation definition of disability typically persists for 24 months.; Its important to understand that a total disability within 24 months does not mean absolute physical inability to perform ones own occupation, but rather from performing the substantial duties of your own occupation.
There is no doubt, and statistics show, that breast cancer is the second most frequent type of cancer in the world . While at one time, it carried a high mortality rate, the fact is that survival rates are increasing and mortality trends are decreasing. Nonetheless, while an increment in survival of women with breast cancer is on the rise, the functional, vocational and life conditions which are influenced by breast cancer symptoms often culminate into brutal functional physical deficit for survivors.
Often times, treatment and surgery, or a combination of both, can certainly impact and influence a breast cancer survivor to suffer physical, functional and emotional consequences that prevent her from performing the substantial duties of her own job.
There Are Three Ways To Be Found Medically Eligible For Ssdi Or Ssi Disability Benefits When You Have Breast Cancer
By Bethany K. Laurence, Attorney
Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in the world. Although there are many kinds of breast cancer, the most common type of breast cancer for women is mammary ductal carcinoma. Mammary ductal carcinoma comes in two forms: infiltrating ductal carcinoma and ductal carcinoma in situ . The latter, ductal carcinoma in situ, is also known as Stage 0 cancer, because doctors cannot even seem to agree that it is actually cancer. Currently, ductal carcinoma in situ accounts for about 20% of screening-detected breast cancer diagnoses.
Federal Precedent For Extended Coverage
The National Breast Cancer Coalition urges Congress to enact legislation to amend the Social Security Act to eliminate waiting periods for disability insurance benefits and Medicare coverage for eligible individuals with metastatic breast cancer.
In 2001, Congress passed a bill to add Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis as a qualifying condition for automatic Medicare coverage and, in 2020, waived the five-month waiting period for SSDI for individuals with ALS, thus creating a federal precedent. Based on the limited life expectancy of individuals with metastatic disease, an average of 3 years, NBCC believes that both automatic SSDI and Medicare coverage should also apply to metastatic breast cancer patients who qualify.
Qualifying Without Meeting A Medical Listing
If youre lucky, your breast cancer will have been diagnosed at an earlier stage than III or IV. Although early stages of breast cancer are not listed in the Blue Book, you can still qualify for disability benefits.
To qualify for benefits without meeting a medical listing in the Blue Book, you will need to have doctors notes and hospital records that show that you are expected to be out of work for at least 12 months. Speak with your doctor about your treatment and whether or not youll be out of work for more than a year.
The most common way women can get approved for disability benefits without the Blue Book is through a physical Residual Functional Capacity evaluation. This is a long form filled out by your doctor about your general health and wellbeing.
Keep in mind that if you do need to file for disability benefits via an RFC, your education level will be factored into your evaluation. If you went to college and could be qualified for sedentary work, the SSA might think that although your symptoms are severe, you could find some form of desk work to do and do not qualify.
A woman who has no education and worked her entire life as a construction worker or a stay-at-home mother would have a much higher chance of qualifying via an RFC than a woman who went to college and got her degree in finance or any other major that can be applied to many jobs.
Medically Qualifying For Benefits With The Blue Book
Whenever the SSA receives an application for benefits, it evaluates the condition and symptoms based on their own guide. This guide, known as the Blue Book. The Blue Book lists hundreds of disabilities that could potentially qualify for benefits, along with the medical test results or symptoms that are necessary to be approved.
Breast cancer is listed along with other cancers in Section 13.00Malignant Neoplastic Diseases.
For breast cancer to qualify, you must have doctors reports or test results that show one of the following:
- An advanced breast cancer that has extended to the chest, skin, or internal mammary nodes.
- A carcinoma that has spread above or below the collarbone, has spread to 10+ nearby nodes, or spread to distant regions of the chest.
- A carcinoma that returns after anticancer therapy.
- Small-cell carcinoma.
The SSAs listing for breast cancer is very technical. You will need to speak with your doctor to see if your specific cancer has spread to the extent to qualify for disability benefits via the Blue Book. Typically, breast cancer must be stage three or above to qualify for disability benefits medically.
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.