How Severe Does My Colon Cancer Have To Be To Get Disability

If you’ve been diagnosed with colon cancer, and you can’t work now because of the symptoms of the cancer or the treatment that you’re undergoing for cancer, you can apply for Social Security disability benefits. As long as you have worked in the past and expect that you won’t be able to work for at least a year, you are eligible to apply for Social Security disability (SSD) benefits.

Blue Book Listing For Colon Cancer

Anyone that applies for disability benefits must be diagnosed with a condition that is listed in the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book and they must meet the requirements in the listing for that condition. Either the symptoms of your condition or the treatment you are receiving must be severely debilitating in order to meet those requirements. Some of the symptoms of colon cancer like:

  • A persistent change in your bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation or a change in the consistency of your stool.
  • Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool.
  • Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain.
  • A feeling that your bowel doesn't empty completely.
  • Weakness or fatigue.

can make it impossible for someone with colon cancer to work. So can chemotherapy or other cancer treatment.

Proving Your Colon Cancer Is Severe Enough for SSD

The Blue Book listing for colon cancer states that, in order to be approved for disability benefits due to colon cancer, your cancer must:

Be an Adenocarcinoma form of cancer AND
have come back after treatment


is impossible for a surgeon to remove


Be a squamous cell carcinoma form of cancer AND
affects the anus


has come back after surgical removal of cancer cells or tumors


Be a small-cell or oat cell carcinoma form of cancer


Is any form of colon cancer that has spread past the lymph nodes in the area where the cancer originally developed.

You will have to submit medical evidence for disability showing that your cancer meets one of those requirements. Biopsies, blood tests, X-rays, MRIs, PET scans, as well as other medical proof of your colon cancer diagnosis and treatment are all necessary in order to show the SSA the severity of your cancer. You can also submit a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) form (filled out by your doctor) that documents the severity of your symptoms and describes, in detail, why exactly you can’t work.

Applying for Disability Benefits

The medical evidence that you submit with your application is very important, but so is making sure that you fill out the application correctly. Approximately 2/3 of the initial applications submitted for disability benefits are denied either because of errors in the application or not having enough medical evidence. This is why talking with an experienced Social Security disability lawyer is a good way to boost your chances of having your application approved on the first try. A disability lawyer can help you avoid most of the mistakes first time applicants make.

Get Help With Your Disability Claim

Taking the time to work with a lawyer, make sure that your application is filled out correctly, and that you have the right medical documentation to prove the severity and disabling nature of your condition, can make all the difference when it comes to getting your application for disability benefits approved. Fill out the Free Case Evaluation form on this page now to get connected with and receive personalized advice from an experienced attorney—at zero cost to you.

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