Malignant Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor (MGST) is a rare form of cancer that is usually diagnosed at an advanced stage. It can be a slow progressing or highly invasive cancer. Regardless of which form your MGST takes, it does qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.
Compassionate Allowance Program
The Social Security Administration (SSA) designates certain condition as automatically qualified medically for disability benefits, provided they meet the severity level necessary to result in disability. Some conditions are also approved for expedited review through the Compassionate Allowances (CAL) program.
MGST automatically qualifies and is also included in the CAL program. If your application includes the appropriate medical documentation, you can have a decision on your claim within just a few weeks, rather than the four of more months that most applicants must wait for a decision.
Medical Evidence in Your Application
Even with CAL designation, your application for benefits must be thorough and you must ensure your medical records contain the information the SSA needs to find you eligible to receive benefits.
Specifically, the SSA needs to see the following information in your application and medical records in order to approve you to receive disability benefits:
- A thorough clinical history that documents the:
- diagnosis and how it was achieved
- extent of the cancer
- treatments you have undergone and their effects
- future treatments required
- prognosis for your condition
- Pathology reports that document the type and stage of the cancer
- Post operative reports that document the results of surgeries you have undergone
- Imaging test results, documenting the extent of the disease, including which organs have been affected
- Other diagnostic tests, especially ones that give a better look of the abdomen, again documenting the extent of the disease, including where tumors have developed or spread
At minimum, the SSA needs to see the results of an MRI and CT scan, as well as an ultrasound, endoscopy, or enteroscopy. Other tests you may have undergone only strengthen your claim. The results of all exams and diagnostic procedures should be included in your application for this reason.
The SSA’s Disability Programs
SSD benefits may be available to you through two programs from the SSA:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) – which requires you are a disabled worker with sufficient work history and work credits to qualify.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – which requires you have very limited income and other financial resources available to provide for your daily needs.
Applying for Benefits
Many applicants decide to complete their disability claim online via the SSA’s website. This is often the fasted way to initiate a claim. If you decide to apply in this manner, ensure you follow up by submitting copies of as many of your medical records as possible to your local SSA office after submitting your application electronically.
You can also apply in person at your local SSA office, though in order to do so, you must first schedule an appointment. This can be done by calling the SSA’s main helpline at 1-800-772-1213.
During your appointment, you will participate in an interview with an SSA representative, who will complete your application for you. During the interview, should also provide the rep with copies of your Malignant Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor medical records to include in your claim.