Compassionate Allowances - Soft Tissue Sarcoma

Soft Tissue Sarcomas can sometimes qualify for disability benefits even in their early stages. When these forms of cancer have spread or metastasized, they meet the Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) medical eligibility requirements for receiving disability benefits. The same is true for soft tissue sarcoma that returns following initial treatment.

Disability Benefit Programs

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is the benefit program with which most people are familiar, but the SSA also administers the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. With soft tissue sarcoma, you may be eligible for either or both of these programs.

SSDI requires you have a work history and accumulated work credits. SSI, on the other hand, has no work history requirements, but it does have strict income and financial resource limitations.

Compassionate Allowances

Recurrent or metastatic soft tissue sarcoma qualifies for rapid review under the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances (CAL) program. Rather than waiting the months it usually takes an application to go through review, CAL applicants have a decision on their claims in just a few weeks. It is also uncommon for CAL applications to be denied for medical reasons, though you must still meet the SSA’s technical eligibility requirements to get benefits.

Required Medical Evidence for Recurrent or Metastatic Soft Tissue Sarcoma

CAL program rules limit the amount of medical evidence necessary for proving disability with soft tissue sarcoma, but the following records must be present in order for you to receive an approval:

  • A clinical history report, detailing the features of the disease
  • Imaging test results, documenting tumor locations and sizes
  • Notes from surgical procedures, including resections, exploratory surgeries, and/or biopsies
  • Pathology reports, verifying the diagnosis and grading or stage of tumors

The SSA utilizes a manual known as the Blue Book to evaluate the severity level of disabilities. This manual contains listings of disabling conditions and the medical evidence for each. To meet the Blue Book listing for Soft Tissue Sarcoma, your medical records must show that your cancer has:

  • returned following initial treatment
  • OR

  • spread, forming a tumor or tumors in locations distant from the original tumor site.

Submitting an Application

SSI benefit applications must be completed during a personal interview with an SSA representative, but SSDI applications can be completed online at any time. SSDI can also be applied for in person though. To schedule an application appointment for either or both programs, call 1-800-772-1213.

If you apply online, be sure to send copies of your medical records to your local SSA office shortly after submitting your electronic application for benefits. If you apply in person at your local SSA office instead, be sure to take your records with you, including your medical and financial documentation.