July is Sarcoma Awareness Month and lasts for the entirety of the month. Sarcomas are rare cancers that develop in the bone, muscle, nerves, blood vessels, tendons, cartilage, and the fatty and fibrous tissues. Disability benefits for sarcoma may be available if the diagnosis suggests you will not be able to work for at least 12 months and, thereby, are no longer earning a living.
What is Sarcoma?
Soft tissue sarcoma is the most common type of sarcoma. Soft tissues include tendons, muscles, blood vessels, fat, and synovial tissues around joints. While soft tissue sarcoma is more common in particular parts of the body, most soft tissue sarcomas—about 40%—affect the knee joint. 30% may develop in the chest, shoulders, hips, or abdomen. 15% affect the arms and hands while 15% affects the head and neck. In the early stages it is difficult to detect the presence of sarcoma but it normally appears as a painless lump which becomes more painful as the tumor grows. Sometimes, the sarcoma may spread to adjacent tissues in the body, and a secondary tumor could form.
Can Sarcoma Qualify For Disability Benefits?
Yes, it may qualify, as it is covered in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Blue Book listings for cancer. The SSA will consider that sarcoma is a qualifying disability if the following exist:
- You are unable to work and take part in substantial gainful activity (SGA) because of your sarcoma. If in 2023 you are working in you earn on average more than $1,470 ($2,460 if you’re blind) each month, you are unlikely to qualify for disability benefits.
- You are unable to work in a previous job because of your sarcoma.
- Your sarcoma has lasted or is expected to last for at least 12 months or you are likely to die from the condition.
The SSA’s Compassionate Allowances (CAL) program has soft tissue sarcomas on the list. This means if you have medical documentation that confirms the diagnosis of soft tissue sarcoma, your disability benefits claim should be approved much sooner than other claims which means in just a few weeks.
With a soft tissue sarcoma diagnosis, it is necessary to prove there are either distant or regional metastases of the cancer or the sarcoma has recurred or persisted after initial antineoplastic therapy. If skeletal system sarcoma has been diagnosed it must be provide that the tumor is recurrent after initial antineoplastic therapy, the cancer is inoperable, or that there are distant metastases.
Speak With a Disability Benefits Lawyer
If you find it difficult filing a claim for disability benefits with your soft tissue sarcoma diagnosis, a disability lawyer may be able to help you. You should take advantage of the Free Case Evaluation on this page by filling it out to get connected and speak with an attorney who can help you as soon as possible—all at zero cost to you.