Compassionate Allowance - Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL)

Most people who need to file a Social Security disability claim need to be prepared to wait for several months before their claim is considered. This is in part because the Social Security Administration (SSA) receives more claims than it can possibly handle in a timely manner and partly because the definition of complete disability by the SSA is very narrow, including only those who are incapable of performing any kind of substantial gainful activity. Because of this, it often takes several months of further medical examination and questioning before the SSA can make a determination.

It’s obvious that most people who are severely disabled can’t afford to wait months on end before finding out if they qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Fortunately, the SSA has been taking some proactive steps towards making sure that people with the most serious disabilities don’t have to wait so long.

Beginning in 2008, the SSA has been identifying conditions which always meet their qualifications for disability. These conditions are known as compassionate allowances. Claimants with a condition which qualifies for a compassionate allowance are put through a much shorter claims process (since further medical assessment is not needed), often resulting in claims being approved within three weeks of the initial filing.

The SSA recognizes a total of 88 compassionate allowance. Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL) is one of the conditions that qualify for a compassionate allowance.

Mantle Cell Lymphoma – Condition and Symptoms

Mantle Cell Lymphoma is a form of cancer which affects the lymphatic system, noted for its small-medium sized cancerous cells which are found in the lymph nodes, bone marrow, spleen, blood, and gastrointestinal system. It is an aggressive form of B-cell lymphoma.

Most victims of Mantle Cell Lymphoma are men over 50 years old. The disease is typically widespread when it is diagnosed, due largely to the lack of early symptoms and the fact that symptoms are not always consistent (i.e., different patients with Mantle Cell Lymphoma may show very different sets of symptoms). The cancerous cells begin to grow in the lymph nodes, but may spread quickly to other body organs.

Mantle Cell Lymphoma is treated with chemotherapy, using a variety of drug regimens. Unfortunately, Mantle Cell Lymphoma is often highly resistant to chemotherapy. Stem cell transplants had been considered as a possible treatment option, but they have shown no benefit.

Of all the lymphatic cancers, Mantle Cell Lymphoma has the lowest survival range. Very few live longer than 10 years after diagnosis, and most pass away considerably sooner. Unlike many forms of cancer, MCL is automatically assumed to recur even if chemotherapy has been deemed successful and the patient is in complete remission.

Because of the generally poor prognosis for those with Mantle Cell Lymphoma and because it requires very aggressive treatment, it always meets the SSA’s listing qualifications. This led to the disease being included in the initial list of Compassionate Allowance conditions.

Filing for Social Security Disability with Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL)

Filing for Social Security disability benefits with Mantle Cell Lymphoma is fairly straight forward. It qualifies you for a compassionate allowance, which means that your claim will be approved, and that it will be shuffled through the system much faster than other claims as long as you make sure that all of the paperwork is in order.

Even the medical documentation for Mantle Cell Lymphoma is fairly simple. You need to make sure that your file includes the pathology report from a bone marrow or lymph node specimen. As long as the pathology report confirms that you have Mantle Cell Lymphoma, you have sufficient proof of complete disability.

If you have any concerns at all about your claim or just want to make sure that you’re filing it correctly, you should contact a Social Security disability lawyer. Many claimants find it helpful to have an attorney help them file their claim, if for no other reason than having the peace of mind which comes from knowing the claim has been handled correctly and will be accepted for a compassionate allowance.

Your Mantle Cell Lymphoma Social Security Disability Case

It doesn’t cost anything up front to have a Social Security disability attorney look at your claim. All fees are collected as a percentage of the back pay to which you are entitled. If your claim is successful, your attorney will receive 25% of your back pay or $6,000, whichever is less. Because Mantle Cell Lymphoma meets a Compassionate Allowance Listing, most claims are approved quickly, and there is very little back pay to be concerned about. The percentage of your back pay collected by your Social Security disability lawyer is small enough to make it well worth the comfort of knowing that your claim was processed correctly.