Each and every time a hard-working American receives a paycheck, a portion of that check goes into the Social Security system. In return for these payments, these workers are entitled to long-term disability benefits if the need should ever arise. The problem is, being approved for these benefits is a process that can take months if not years to complete. Fortunately the SSA has recognized the fact that some disability applicants cannot possibly wait years or even just a few months for benefits to begin and as a result they have implemented the Compassionate Allowances program. Under this program, certain applicants suffering from eligible conditions may be approved for benefits in a matter of weeks. Merkel cell carcinoma with metastases is one of the conditions that have recently been added to the list of conditions that qualify a Social Security Disability applicant for Compassionate Allowances processing. If you have been diagnosed with this condition and would like to know how you may qualify for benefits more quickly, the following information will help.
Merkel Cell Carcinoma with Metastasis Condition and Symptoms
Merkel cell carcinoma, also known as primary neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin, is a very rare yet highly aggressive form of cancer. This particular form of cancer develops on or beneath the skin or in the skin’s hair follicles. When caught early, the prognosis of this particular type of cancer is fairly good. However, once the condition has metastasized the five-year survival rate drops to below 50 percent.
The symptoms of the condition may vary on a case-by-case basis. The condition usually presents itself as a firm, painless tumor or mass that is the same color as a person’s flesh or is red or blue in color. The size of these tumors range from as little as one-quarter of an inch to more than 2 inches in diameter. Once formed, the tumors are known to grow rapidly.
While it is possible for these tumors to originate anywhere on a person’s body, the areas that are most commonly affected include the head, neck, legs and arms. In some cases, a doctor is unable to determine the actual spot of origin.
While the causes of merkel cell carcinoma may vary, the condition seems to be primarily caused by the merkel cell polyomavirus, also referred to as MCV. This conclusion was made when it was discovered that inhibition of the production of the virus proteins causes infected merkel carcinoma cells to die off, yet has no effect on malignant merkel cells that are not infected with the virus. It is estimated, however, that nearly 20 percent of merkel cell carcinomas have no known cause.
Filing for Social Security Disability with Merkel Cell Carcinoma with Metastasis
This year the SSA will receive millions of claims for disability benefits and the majority of those claims will be denied. This leaves nearly 70 percent of disability applicants in the land of disability appeals, which can take two years or more to get out of. Fortunately for those who have been diagnosed with merkel cell carcinoma with metastasis, the standard disability claim and appeal process is a process that does not have to be endured and you may qualify for benefits in a matter of weeks.
It is important to note that even though this condition does qualify a claim for processing under the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances guidelines, this does not mean that you will automatically be granted disability benefits. If you hope to obtain disability benefits during the initial stage of the application process, you must be sure to properly fill out your application paperwork and provide the SSA with sufficient objective medical evidence including lab results, imaging tests, treatment histories and written statements from your treating physician and/or physicians.
Merkel Cell Carcinoma with Metastasis and Your Social Security Disability Case
If you have been diagnosed with merkel cell carcinoma with metastasis and you would like to receive Social Security Disability benefits more quickly under the Compassionate Allowances guidelines, you should consider retaining the services of a disability attorney. When you work with an attorney, you and your lawyer can ensure that your claim paperwork is properly filled out and that you have furnished the SSA with enough medical evidence to support your claim for disability benefits.
If, for some reason, your initial claim for benefits is not approved, your attorney can ensure that your appeal is handled appropriately and according to the Compassionate Allowances guidelines. Compassionate Allowances appeals are to be given priority over standard appeals, which means faster access to the disability benefits you may be entitled to.