A rare form of brain tumor, oligodendroglioma grows slowly and rarely metastasizes outside of the nervous system. Low-grade tumors may be present for years before a diagnosis is made.
When discovered early, oligodendroglioma can often be treated through radiation, chemotherapy, and surgical procedures, and can qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits when they are discovered.
Most oligodendrogliomas are high grade when diagnosed and grow more rapidly when in their advanced stages. These tumors qualify for expedited review and approval under the Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) Compassionate Allowances (CAL) program, which virtually ensures applicants medically qualify for disability benefits.
Disability Benefit Programs
The SSA has two disability programs through which individuals with oligodendroglioma may qualify:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Both of these programs require applicants meet the medical eligibility criteria. Each program also requires applicants meet the technical eligibility rules.
- For SSDI, applicants must have a work history and accumulated work credits.
- For SSI, applicants must have very limited income and other financial resources, but not work history or credits are necessary.
Low-grade oligodendroglioma brain tumors are evaluated through standard SSD processes, which include reviewing listings in the Blue Book. This is a manual of impairments and medical evidence required to support or prove disability with each.
The listings that apply to oligodendroglioma appear in Sections 13.13A1 and 113.13.
Grade III tumors are reviewed under the CAL program instead. CAL designation speeds up the review and approval of claims and limits the amount of medical evidence required for approval.
Required Medical Evidence for Oligodendroglioma Brain Tumor - Grade III
Although the CAL program simplifies the disability review process, applicants must still complete the full application. They must additionally ensure their medical records contain the key pieces of documentation necessary for quick medical approval.
Missing records can delay the approval of a claim for benefits. Here are the essential items an oligodendroglioma claim must include according to CAL program guidelines:
- A thorough medical history, including onset and description of symptoms
- Physical exam notes describing the diagnostic features of the disease, including the presentation of common symptoms
- A biopsy and pathology report, documenting the formal diagnosis
- Imaging scan results, showing the size, location, and extent of the tumor(s)
Other records are not required for approval but certainly cannot hurt. Providing the SSA copies of as many records as possible at the time or just after applying can help speed up the review and approval of a claim.
Submitting an Application
SSI applications can only be made in person, but SSDI claims can be submitted online or via a personal interview at the local SSA office. To schedule an in-person application, call 1-800-772-1213, or simply apply online at any time on the SSA’s website.
Online applications should be follow-up with medical records submitted to the local SSA office. The fewer records the SSA must request from a physician, the faster a claim can be reviewed.
Completing the application without assistance may be challenging or impossible with oligodendroglioma brain tumor - grade III, dependent upon the symptoms suffered. A friend, family member, or a Social Security advocate or attorney can help.