If you have cancer, you may find yourself unable to work. Even if the cancer is caught in the early stages and is treatable, the side effects from the treatments can be debilitating. You may be able to qualify for disability benefits administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
The SSA oversees both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If you have a disabling condition that has or will last 12 months or longer, or if it is expected to lead to death, you may be eligible for benefits.
However, if your disability claim is denied during its initial review, you should not be discouraged. About 70 percent of all claims get denied initially. You should file an appeal and provide additional information to get your claim reconsidered.
How To Appeal the Decision
The second stage of the claims process is the request for reconsideration, which is also called an appeal. You will want to enlist the help of a disability attorney at this point if you have not done so already.
When your claim is denied during the initial review, you will receive a letter that explains why your claim was not approved. It will also specify how long you have so you can file your appeal. If you miss the deadline, you will have to start the claims process all over.
You will need to review the Blue Book listing for your condition. The Blue Book is the medical guide that the SSA uses to determine if a claimant is disabled. You will need to gather supporting medical records and other documentation so your claim can match the criteria of the listing. An attorney will be able to help you gather the supporting evidence that you need to prove that you qualify for disability per SSA guidelines.
The Blue Book Criteria For Cancer
The American Cancer Society reports that there are more than 200 kinds of cancer. The cancer claims are reviewed using Section 13.00. The listings are separated out by the location where the cancer originated.
The different kinds of cancer qualify using different criteria. As an example, some cancers get fast approval just so long as you can provide proof of a confirmed diagnosis. Other cancers must be recurrent after treatment or be inoperable or unresectable. You must provide supporting evidence and medical documentation.
Consider Using an RFC
If your condition doesn’t meet the specific criteria of a Blue Book listing, you can still qualify for disability benefits. You can use a medical vocational allowance along with a residual functional capacity (RFC).
The RFC is completed by your physician and clearly details what you can and cannot do. It will explain how often you must reposition, how frequently you must rest, how long you can stand, how much you can lift, and so forth.
A medical vocational allowance reviews your RFC while considering your medical conditions, your age, your work history, if you have any transferrable skills, and your educational background. The disability examiner takes everything into consideration to determine what kind of work – if there is any – that you can do.
Don’t Try It Alone
If you have cancer, you don’t want to go through the disability claims process alone. Your chances of a successful claim increase greatly when you are represented by a disability attorney. Complete the Free Case Evaluation today.