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Can you get disability benefits if you have cancer?

On Behalf of | Jan 27, 2022 | Social Security Disability

Social Security disability insurance provides benefits to workers and their independents if they can no longer work. It helps cover everyday living expenses and other necessary costs.

Cancer patients often qualify for this financial assistance, but the diagnosis does not automatically secure benefits. You must meet the legal disability definition to qualify.

Is your cancer a disability?

There are many types of cancer. Some have more effective treatments than others. Any cancer impacts your ability to work during treatment and has significant physical and emotional effects. However, to qualify for disability benefits, your illness must prevent you from working for a minimum of one year.

What circumstances qualify your cancer for Social Security disability benefits?

The Social Security Administration has a manual that lists recognized disabilities to identify what meets the legal requirements for income assistance. While some cancers automatically qualify, most require additional symptoms or complications to be a functional impairment.

Significant side effects

Cancer treatments inhibit you from functioning normally. However, your effects must prevent you from working for at least 12 months to meet Social Security disability requirements. If you suffer permanent side effects, such as heart, liver or lung problems, you are more likely to qualify for benefits. Document your experiences to show proof of how treatments affect you.

Unsuccessful surgery

If your cancer surgery only partially removes a tumor, or if your tumor returns after treatment, you will likely qualify for benefits. Inoperable tumors also meet the disability requirements.

Cancer spread

If your cancer moves to other parts of your body, this complication typically qualifies for automatic disability approval. To secure benefits, you need medical documentation to support your claim.

Social Security disability rules are strict, making it essential to understand how to present your case to get your desired outcome.