For those who live with serious disabilities and are unable to continue working, Social Security disability programs like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid and Medicare provide a safety net, allowing recipients to continue with some measure of financial independence. Most people who make Social Security disability claims need to be prepared to wait several months for a decision on their claim.
On top of that, claimants should realize that the majority of initial claims are denied. Should your Social Security disability claim be denied, you are entitled to appeal this decision. There are several steps to the appeals process, including a request for reconsideration, a hearing before an administrative law judge and a judicial review. Your claim can be approved at any of them, though most approved claims are approved at the hearing stage.
For some who suffer from the most serious diseases or disorders, the process is considerably shorter. The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes certain conditions as always qualifying for Social Security disability benefits. The Compassionate Allowance Listings are designed to allow those who have these invariably debilitating conditions to avoid most of the claims process.
Because a diagnosis of one of these serious conditions is, in and of itself, considered adequate to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, those who qualify for a compassionate allowance have little need of further review or medical examination. So, if their paperwork (especially the medical files) is in order, their claims are generally approved in about three weeks, rather than the six months or more required for most claims.
Liver Cancer – Condition and Symptoms
There are several types of liver cancer, with the most common being Hepatocellular Carcinoma and secondary liver cancer. The Hepatocellular variety is often the result of having Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C. It is also often associated with having had cirrhosis of the liver. Secondary liver cancer is cancer which starts in another part of the body and spreads to the liver.
Common symptoms of liver cancer include upper abdominal pain, often on the right side, back and shoulder pain, bloated abdominal region, sudden weight loss, appetite loss, nausea, weakness, fatigue, vomiting and jaundice-like symptoms. Fever and dark colored urine are also common symptoms.
Liver cancer can only be cured when it is discovered in its earliest stages. Unfortunately, most forms of liver disease show no symptoms until the later stages of the disease, leading to a poor prognosis and survivability rate for those diagnosed with liver cancer.
When liver cancer is caught early enough, it can be removed surgically. Liver transplant is also an option in some cases, if a suitable donated organ can be found. Most other liver cancer treatments are designed to make the patient as comfortable as possible. In some cases, radiation treatment and chemotherapy are also used to treat liver cancer.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Liver Cancer
As soon as you receive a diagnosis of liver cancer, you should notify the SSA that you intend to file for Social Security disability benefits. Liver cancer qualifies you for a compassionate allowance, so you are virtually assured that your claim will be approved. The most important thing to do when filing for disability with a condition which qualifies you for a compassionate allowance is to make sure that all of the supporting documentation is complete and correct.
Many claimants find it helpful to have a Social Security disability lawyer go over their claim with them. While there is no doubt you will qualify for Social Security disability benefits with liver cancer, your Social Security disability attorney is the best qualified person to make sure that all of the details of your claim are correctly handled.
The medical documentation which the SSA will want to see in your file includes a pathology report which shows hepatocellular carcinoma in the biopsy. Alternately, an MRI or CT scan showing that you have liver cancer may be accepted.
Your Liver Cancer Social Security Disability Case
Because you have liver cancer and qualify for a compassionate allowance, you really have very little to be concerned about in terms of whether or not your claim will be accepted. Assuming everything is in order, your claim will be approved. In most cases, it will be approved within three weeks of filing the initial claim, and you will begin to receive whichever benefits you are entitled to in the next benefit cycle.
That makes it all the more important to make sure everything is filed properly the first time. Taking the time to have a Social Security disability attorney review your case helps ensure that nothing will stop you from receiving the compassionate allowance you are entitled to.