Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system. It attacks your immune system and can cause debilitating symptoms such as fever, lack of energy, back and bone pain, and seizures. Eventually full-time work may prove impossible.
With lymphoma, you can file for financial assistance in the form of Social Security Administration (SSA) Disability benefits, and if you are over 50, your chances of approval are significantly higher, thanks to the SSA grid rules.
Grid Rules and Lymphoma
The SSA grid rules evaluate your ability to maintain full-time employment. The criteria they use to determine your eligibility for benefits are:
- Your age
- How much education you received
- Your work skills
- Whether those skills can be transferred to a different, more sedentary occupation
- Your residual functional capacity for physical work
The grid is structured to accommodate the fact that older workers have a harder time switching to different occupations. This is because fewer entry level jobs are offered to them, and retraining can be more difficult than it is for younger workers. As a result, applicants over 50 are more likely to receive benefits.
What Type of Work Can Someone Do With This Condition?
Lymphoma, especially in the late stages, will make heavy physical work impossible. According to the SSA grid rules, a 54-year-old landscaper with a high school diploma will not be able to continue in their field due to symptoms like bone pain, fatigue, and seizures.
Due to their age, transiting to a different employment will be difficult, so they are more likely to be approved for benefits than a younger person with a background in sedentary jobs, even if your ‘grid’ does not result in a disability finding.
Meeting a Blue Book Listing
You may also qualify for disability benefits by meeting a listing in the Blue Book, which is the SSA disability guidebook. Lymphoma appears in Listing 13.05 - Lymphoma, which indicates that you will be found disabled if:
- You have non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that keeps recurring despite treatment.
- You have Hodgkin’s Lymphoma if the disease fails to go into remission or recurs within one year of remission.
- You have T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma, which is listed under leukemia and qualifies you for disability benefits for at least two years from onset date.
- You have Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL), which automatically qualifies you for disability benefits.
While your chances of being approved for SSA disability benefits are higher than normal when you are aged 50-plus and living with lymphoma, approaching a Social Security Disability attorney or advocate for assistance in filing your claim.
An attorney can make the process easier and reduce the risk of being denied due to incomplete or inaccurate documentation. If your claim is rejected for any reason, which happens in the majority of cases, your attorney or advocate can deal with the SSA on your behalf and even represent you at the appeals hearing.
Statistics have proven that working with a disability professional increases the likelihood that you will be approved for the benefits you need more quickly, so before filing your claim, make some calls and locate a professional you feel you can trust to advocate for you.