Appealing an SSA Decision With Breast Cancer

If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, you may find yourself unable to work and earn a living. Even when breast cancer is caught in the early stages, the treatment can be disabling causing fatigue, nausea, and pain.

If you apply for disability benefits and your claim is denied, do not be discouraged because you are not alone. Many disability claims, around 70 percent of them, are denied during the initial review. You should file an appeal and provide the needed information to support your claim.

How To Appeal the Decision

When a disability claim is denied, you will receive a notice from the Social Security Administration (SSA). This notice will explain why your claim was denied and how long you have to file an appeal. This appeal is called a request for reconsideration.

You will need to gather the supporting documentation that your claim needs to be more successful when it is reviewed again, and you will need to make sure you file your appeal by the deadline. If you don’t file by the deadline, you will have to start the claims process all over again.

A disability attorney can be very helpful during this time, and your lawyer will gather the pertinent evidence and details and will ensure that your claim is filed in a timely manner. A disability lawyer will increase your chances of having your claim approved.

Blue Book For Breast Cancer

You should compare your medical evidence and supporting documentation to the listing criteria for your condition in the Blue Book. Breast cancer is evaluated along with other forms of cancer in Section 13.00, which is Malignant Neoplastic Diseases.

To qualify for disability per the listing for breast cancer, you must have medical records that include physician notes and test results that indicate one of the following:

  • You have advanced cancer that extends to the chest, skin, or internal mammary nodes.
  • A carcinoma that has spread above or below the collarbone, that has spread to 10 or more nearby nodes, or spread to distant chest regions.
  • A carcinoma that returns after anticancer treatment or therapy.
  • Oat cell or small cell carcinoma.

Appealing an SSA Decision With Breast Cancer

Consider an RFC

If you cannot meet the criteria of the Blue Book listing, you may still qualify through a medical vocational allowance with the help of a residual functional capacity (RFC). The RFC, completed by your physician, should detail what you can and cannot do.

When reviewing the RFC, the disability examiner should be able to determine what you can and cannot do. That would include lifting, standing, walking, reaching, bending, and so forth. The medical vocational allowance considers your age, work history, transferrable skills, educational background, and other details into consideration.

Don’t Try It Alone

If you are unable to work because of breast cancer, consider contacting a disability attorney. Disability claimants represented by a lawyer may be more likely to have their claim approved. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page today to get your claim underway.

Additional Resources