Year after year, the Social Security Administration (SSA) receives more Social Security Disability claims than it can turn over in a timely manner. This is part of the reason why disability cases typically take anywhere from three to six months before the SSA makes an initial ruling.
Under normal circumstances, those who apply for Social Security disability benefits need to be prepared to spend an average of a year and a half in the disability claims and appeals process. However, for those who suffer with particularly debilitating or terminal diseases, the process is sped up under the Compassionate Allowances program.
The SSA currently recognizes 88 conditions which automatically qualify those who suffer from them for Social Security disability benefits. These conditions include a wide variety of diseases and disorders, but most of them are rare terminable or inoperable cancers, severe mental disorders, or neurological disorders which lead towards dementia.
If you have been diagnosed with one of the conditions listed in the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances listings, you could be approved for Social Security disability benefits in as little as three weeks. If your application and accompanying medical records indicate that you have one of the listed conditions, your claim will automatically be flagged and placed in the Compassionate Allowances program in order to expedite your Social Security disability benefits.
One of the conditions listed for Compassionate Allowances is bladder cancer. In order to qualify for a compassionate allowance, your bladder cancer must be diagnosed as being inoperable or unresectable or it must have distant metastases.
Bladder Cancer - Conditions and Symptoms
Bladder cancer, also known as bladder carcinoma, is a disease which is characterized by malignant tumor growth on the bladder tissue. The cancerous cells generally form in the inner wall of the bladder causing inflammation and chronic irritation.
Often, bladder cancer spreads through the bladder lining and into the lymph nodes or other nearby organs. When bladder cancer does this, it is referred to as invasive bladder cancer. When bladder cancer is inoperable or unresectable (meaning it can’t be removed surgically), it qualifies for a Compassionate Allowance.
There are a number of treatment options available for bladder cancer. Depending on the extent and severity of the cancer, these may include surgery (there are a variety of surgical options available), chemotherapy, radiation, biologic therapy or any combination of these. Chemotherapy and/or radiation are generally most effective following one of the surgical options. While they are also used to attempt to treat inoperable bladder cancer, the prognosis for such cases is usually rather dim.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Bladder Cancer - with distant metastases or inoperable or unresectable.
As with other Compassionate Allowance claims, those with inoperable or unresectable Bladder cancer or bladder cancer with distant metastases will automatically qualify as disabled by SSA standards. This doesn’t mean, however, that your claim will automatically be accepted. Small things like paperwork which is incomplete (either from you or your doctor) can make all the difference between being shuffled immediately into the Compassionate Allowance program and having to spend months appealing what should have been an open and shut disability case.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to make sure that everything is completely filled out in your social Security disability claim. Your medical records should include, at a minimum, your pathology report and a report stating the reason why your cancer is inoperable and unresectable. The more thorough your medical reports are, the more likely you are to be qualified for a compassionate allowance.
Your Bladder Cancer - with distant metastases or inoperable or unresectable Social Security Disability Case
Most Social Security disability claimants have very little experience dealing with the SSA or its system. While the SSA does not go out of their way to make the process difficult for people, those who are in the middle of the claims and appeals process often feel as though they do.
Much of the frustration involved in applying for Social Security disability benefits, including cases involving Compassionate Allowances, can be eliminated by simply having a Social Security disability lawyer look over your case and provide knowledgeable legal advice. An attorney or advocate who is knowledgeable about disability claims can make sure that all information on file is in order and put the claim on the fast track to acceptance in the Compassionate Allowance program.