November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, a time when those with this condition could benefit from learning about certain forms of financial assistance that may be available to them. If you have lung cancer, you might qualify for Social Security disability benefits through the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA).
What is Lung Cancer?
As the name implies, lung cancer is a form of cancer that forms in the lungs first. As with other forms of cancer, it may spread from there.
Lung cancer comes in two basic forms:
- Small cell lung cancer, which primarily affects smokers
- Non-small cell lung cancer, a general term applying to several different conditions (such as squamous cell carcinoma, large cell carcinoma, etc.)
Common symptoms of lung cancer include:
- A persistent cough, particularly if you never had such a cough before
- Blood (even seemingly “minor” amounts) coming up with coughs
- Chest pain
- Breathing difficulties
- Unexplained weight loss
- Pain that seems to affect your bones
Don’t ignore any of these symptoms. If you’ve yet to receive a diagnosis, meet with a doctor as soon as possible to learn about your condition.
Risks, Prevention, and Treatment
Certain risk factors can increase one’s odds of developing lung cancer. They include the following:
- Undergoing radiation therapy in the past, perhaps to treat a different form of cancer
- Family history
- Exposure to asbestos, second-hand smoke, etc.
Tips for lung cancer prevention include:
Be aware, though, some people may be prone to developing lung cancer even if they take steps to prevent it. Treatment options for lung cancer may also vary depending on the type you have, how aggressively the cancer is spreading, and related factors. Treatments may include:
- Radiation therapy
- Targeted drug therapy
Your doctor can assess your condition and determine the ideal treatment option for your needs.
Disability Benefits and Lung Cancer
Lung cancer can prevent you from working and earning an income. Per the SSA’s Blue Book listing 13.14, which lists the types of conditions that may qualify individuals for Social Security disability benefits, lung cancer is a disability. You can thus seek Social Security disability benefits to help you pay for housing, food, and other basic needs.
You might also qualify for a Compassionate Allowance. Through the Compassionate Allowance program, the SSA expedites the approval process for certain Social Security disability benefits applications. Those with non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer may be eligible for expedited benefits through the compassionate allowance program.
Filing a Claim With Lung Cancer
The SSA historically denies most initial applications for disability benefits. While you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits due to having lung cancer, you might also need to provide substantial medical documentation to show the SSA you meet the necessary criteria.
An attorney could help with this process. While you focus on your treatment, they may focus on strengthening your application or claim. Complete the Free Case Evaluation to get connected with an independent, participating attorney who subscribes to the website.