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Social Security disability for cancer sufferers

Social Security provides support to those suffering from cancer. This is particularly significant considering the estimated 1.8 million people diagnosed with cancer in 2019. 

There are several cancers that may qualify you for Social Security disability insurance benefits; however, there are factors that may affect your eligibility, including the type of cancer you have and the diagnosis. 

Cancers that quality for benefits 

To qualify for SSDI due to your cancer diagnosis, you need to be unable to work due to your illness. The diagnosis must prevent you from working for a period of at least 12 months or be a terminal prognosis. The cancers listed under the Malignant Neoplastic Diseases for SSDI are eligible for benefits. 

The Social Security blue book lists 27 eligible cancer subsections, including breast, brain, lungs, lymphoma, skin and stomach cancer; however, the case for each applicant is different, depending on their diagnosis. 

How to prove a diagnosis 

Social Security needs medical records to confirm your diagnosis. These records need to provide information on the origin, stage, treatments, success of treatments and side effects. In certain situations, they may require over three months’ worth of records to determine if you meet qualifications; for example, if you only received one treatment, they may review additional months of records. 

How to get a compassionate allowance 

In certain situations, your disability benefits may gain approval in a timelier manner. Social Security may automatically approve cancer patients who are eligible for a compassionate allowance. Qualifications require that a person has cancer that is inoperable, recurrent or spreading. 

How to handle an appeal 

If denied your application for disability, you have 60 days to appeal the decision. In these situations, it may be important to provide additional information to support your case. For example, you may need to provide additional medical documentation or updated information if you have received any new information since sending in your initial application.