Most people who apply for Social Security disability can expect to wait a minimum of three to six months, even if everything is in order and they manage to get their initial disability claim accepted. Roughly 30% of initial claims are accepted, leaving 70% of Social Security disability claimants an even longer wait as they work their way through the lengthy appeals process. The median claim requires 18 months, and it’s not unusual for disability claims to take much longer, often several years.
For those with serious disabilities, the wait can be excruciating. Beside the fact that they are already dealing with a debilitating physical or mental condition, they have the additional burden of not being able to produce an income.
For those with certain obviously debilitating conditions, however, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has streamlined the process. If you or your dependent child have one of the 88 medical conditions listed under the SSA’s Compassionate Allowance listings, your Social Security disability benefits could be approved in as little as three weeks.
These 88 conditions, which include a variety of rare cancers, debilitating mental conditions, and progressive neurological disorders, are considered to automatically qualify an individual as disabled and unable to continue working according to the SSA’s definition of disability. Most of them are aggressive disorders, and many of them are typically terminal.
Bone Cancer (with distant metastases or inoperable or unresectable) is one of the conditions listed for Compassionate Allowances. If you or your child has been diagnosed with bone cancer, and your doctors have determined that the cancer is inoperable or unresectable or that the cancer has metastasized to other parts of your body, you will find the following information about bone cancer and the Compassionate Allowances program useful during the process of applying for Social Security disability.
Bone Cancer - with distant metastases or inoperable or unresectable- Condition and Symptoms
Bone cancer, also called osteosarcoma, typically affects the bones around the knees, legs or arms. While it can affect people of any age or gender, it is more common for males and tends to affect younger people than most forms of cancer. Bone cancer in the knees is most common amongst children and preteens, and bone cancer around the arms or legs in more common among teenagers and those in their 20s.
Symptoms of bone cancer include swelling or tenderness in the area affected, deep down bone pain, weakening of the bones (often leading to fractures), unexplained weight loss, and fatigue. It is generally diagnosed with a combination of blood tests, biopsies, and X-rays.
Bone cancer is operable if it is caught early enough. Surgery is typically followed by radiation or chemotherapy. Unfortunately, in instances where surgery is deemed unlikely to help (inoperable bone cancer) or when surgery has failed to remove all of the cancerous tissue (unresectable bone cancer), radiation and chemotherapy may still be used, but the likelihood of survival goes down dramatically.
Unresectable or inoperable bone cancer often spreads to the lungs. Generally, when bone cancer has metastasized to this degree, treatment is designed more as a measure of helping the patient deal with the pain than for a curative purpose.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Bone Cancer - with distant metastases or inoperable or unresectable
A diagnosis of any kind of cancer is among most people’s worst nightmares. A diagnosis of bone cancer is no exception, especially if your child is the one diagnosed. Fortunately, inoperable or unresectable bone cancer does qualify for a compassionate allowance with the SSA, allaying some of the concerns about your ability to continue earning an income while focusing on fighting, or helping your child fight, the cancer.
You will want to make sure that everything you are asked to fill out by the SSA is filled out completely and in detail. You will also want to make sure that complete medical records are included with your claim. The more complete the information on your claim, the more likely you are to have your case sail smoothly through the Social security disability system.
In most cases, if your records clearly indicate a diagnosis of inoperable or unresectable bone cancer, or if the diagnosis shows that your bone cancer has metastasized, your file will be flagged to go into the Compassionate Allowances program and you can be approved for Social Security disability benefits in less than a month.
Your Bone Cancer - with distant metastases or inoperable or unresectable Social Security Disability Case
With that said, however, it becomes all the more important to make sure your claim file includes everything the SSA needs to approve your claim. The biggest favor you can do yourself at this time is to have a Social Security disability lawyer look over your claim and make sure everything is in order.