Compassionate Allowance - Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes that there are some medical conditions that are so serious that benefits need to be received as quickly as possible in order to provide the most help.

What Are Compassionate Allowances?

To efficiently do this, the Compassionate Allowance listing was created so that individuals with certain disorders can go through an expedited process when applying for benefits, and can receive those benefits that they qualify for sooner rather than later.

It’s usually terrifying to be diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, but you can feel some relief in knowing that if you have a disorder listed under the Compassionate Allowances that you can start collecting benefits to help defray medical costs in a relatively short amount of time.

When applying for disability benefits you must often provide lengthy documentation about your disability and maybe be subjected to numerous medical tests to prove you have need for help.

The whole process can take anywhere from three to six months or longer in some cases. While the time frame can be understandable in some instances, in order to correctly identify who most needs help, there are some conditions that so obviously meet the requirements that waiting for benefits can be detrimental. With the Compassionate Allowances program the disability application process is shortened from months to a few weeks and benefits can be received as soon as the next benefit cycle begins.

Compassionate Allowance - Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer - Condition and Symptoms

Lung cancer is a cancer which forms in the tissues of the lungs. Often it shows up in the cells that line the air passages. There are two main types which include Small Cell Lung Cancer and Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.

The latter occurs in approximately 87% of all diagnosed lung cancers. Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer tends to spread more slowly and has three types: Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Large Cell Carcinoma and Adenocarcinoma.

In Stage III B of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, the cancer has not yet spread to distant places. There are two combinations that make up Stage III B. With the first combination (Any T, N3, MO) the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes near the collarbone on one or both sides, and/or has spread to the hilar nodes or mediastinal lymph nodes on the side that is converse to the original tumor.

In the second combination (T4, any N, MO) of Stage III B the tumor has grown into the space between the heart and the chest bone, into the heart itself or the large blood vessels close to the heart, or the esophagus, windpipe, backbone or carina.

With Stage IV Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (Any T, Any N, M1) the tumor may be any size and might or might not have spread to nearby sites or reached the nearby lymph nodes. However, the cancer has spread to distant sites in the body.

There are often no symptoms with the early stages of lung cancer. As the cancer spreads the most common symptoms are a persistent cough that gets worse, difficulty breathing, a chest pain that is continuous, frequent lung infections, lethargy and/or unintentional weight loss.

Treatment of Stage III B Non-Small Lung Cancer can include surgery, external radiation therapy or chemotherapy and may include all three together. Treatment of Stave IV Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer can include internal radiation therapy and/or external radiation therapy in order to relieve pain, lessen symptoms and improve life quality.

When lung cancer is diagnosed in its early stages you have the greatest survival chance. Unfortunately symptoms do not usually appear until the cancer is in advanced stages, and treatment of Stage IV is not able to cure the cancer.

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer has a high mortality rate, with the majority of patients passing away within a year of being diagnosed.

If you have Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer that your doctor has deemed inoperable this means that surgery would not be beneficial. If the cancer is deemed unresectable it means that the report following operation shows that the cancer has not been completely removed.

Filing for Social Security Disability with Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

If you have been diagnosed with Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer that your physician has decided is inoperable, unresectable or recurrent, you automatically qualify for benefits under the Compassionate Allowances program.

You can go through the process of applying for benefits quickly and start receiving your benefits sooner. This should bring some relief to you by helping to lessen your mounting medical bills.

The preferred documentation needed to apply for disability benefits with this condition include a pathology report and an operative report.

However, if these reports are not available, you can use your physician’s opinion that your cancer is inoperable or unresectable based on certain objective findings.

Your Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Social Security Disability Case

Even with a condition listed as a Compassionate Allowance it is still a smart idea to have a Social Security disability lawyer review your case with you.

Your attorney or advocate can make sure you have the right documentation necessary to start getting benefits right away. Disability Attorneys work a contingency basis and are not paid unless your disability claim is successful.

Additional Resources