If you find yourself in the unfortunate circumstance of being disabled and unable to work because of an injury or illness, Social Security disability programs such as SSDI, SSI, Medicaid and Medicare exist to help you stay on your feet financially. While they don’t provide the kind of income most of us are accustomed to, they do provide a safety net which can help prevent us from needing to be dependent on others for financial support.
In order to qualify for Social Security disability, you must fit into a very narrow definition of disability. The Social Security Administration (SSA) looks at disability differently than Workers Compensation and most disability insurance programs. To qualify as “disabled” for Social Security purposes, you must have a medically verifiable condition which makes it impossible for you to continue doing any kind of work which you have performed in the past fifteen years. You must also be disabled severely enough that you could not reasonably be expected to be trained for any work which is available to people of your experience, age, and education level.
As you can imagine, determining whether a person is disabled to this degree can take a long time. When you add this to the fact that the SSA deals with millions of claims every year, you get a formula for a long wait before collecting benefits. For most claimants, the total wait ends up being between six and eighteen months.
In some cases, the long process can be avoided, however. If you have one of the conditions which the SSA considers to be so invariably disabling that they always qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you can be approved within as little as three weeks. These conditions, known as Compassionate Allowance Listings, represent the SSA’s acknowledgment that it is their responsibility to quickly help our most severely disabled citizens.
The conditions which qualify for Compassionate Allowances include several rare diseases, progressive neurological disorders, and cancers such as Mucosal Malignant Melanoma.
Mucosal Malignant Melanoma – Condition and Symptoms
Mucosal Malignant Melanoma is an aggressive form of melanoma which originates in the mucus membranes rather than on the skin. In particular, it attacks the mucus membranes which line the digestive, respiratory and genitor-urinary tracts. Alternately, it may present itself in the cerebral meninges or in the eyes. These types of melanomas are very difficult to detect and diagnose in their early stages, and hard to treat in their later stages. Because of this, the vast majority of people diagnosed with Mucosal Malignant Melanomas have a very poor prognosis.
Most often, Mucosal Malignant Melanomas affect people in their 60s and older. The actual survival time with the disease can vary significantly depending on where the melanoma strikes and its stage at the time of discovery. Current treatments involve radiation, chemotherapy and surgery. If the cancer has metastasized, it is not curable.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Mucosal Malignant Melanoma
Mucosal Malignant Melanoma is one of the conditions listed for a Social Security Compassionate Allowance. Because of this, you should have no concern regarding whether or not your claim will be approved. Not only should it be approved, but it should be flagged for a compassionate allowance and approved within a month of your initial filing.
The medical documentation needed for a compassionate allowance for Mucosal Malignant Melanomas is fairly straight forward. Essentially, you need a pathology report showing that you do indeed have Mucosal Malignant Melanoma. There are no additional tests required in most cases, though you will want to make sure that the tests which were performed and their results are fully documented.
Your Mucosal Malignant Melanoma Social Security Disability Case
If you’re not sure what you’re looking for in the medical files (and most people aren’t), you should consider having a Social Security disability attorney evaluate your case and make sure that all of your claim forms and supporting documentation is as it should be. While there’s no question that you qualify for Social Security disability and receive benefits, ensuring that your application is approved the first time through and granted a compassionate allowance helps you start receiving your benefits in a timely manner.
Social Security disability attorneys work on a contingency basis and are not paid unless you are awarded benefits. If your claim is successful, then they receive 25% of the back pay you are awarded or $6,000, whichever is less.