If lymphoma has left you unable to work, you could be eligible to receive Social Security benefits. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) will pay benefits to an individual who is deemed disabled because of a medical condition. The disabled person may have dependents who are also eligible for benefits as well. If the disabled person who has worked long enough to get enough credits and has paid the right amount of taxes into Social Security.
Lymphoma is a cancer diagnosis that can cause a major disruption in life. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a serious form of cancer. Continuing to work while undergoing treatments for the cancer is not practical and is also relatively impossible. In order to qualify for benefits, you need to be classified as permanently and totally disabled. During the first six months of your disability you will not be eligible for benefits.
The application process requires you to release a significant amount of information to the Social Security Administration (SSA). All of your medical records will have to be carefully reviewed by Disability Determination Services to determine if you meet the definition of disability set forth by the SSA. If you are deemed permanently and totally disabled per their guidelines, you would be eligible to receive benefits.
Financial Costs Involved with Lymphoma Treatment
According to the National Cancer Institute, lymphoma is an expensive form of cancer to treat. The annualized mean net costs of care for the disorder is related to the age, gender and phase of care.
A female who is older than 65 years of age and who is experiencing an initial diagnosis can expect to pay out $57,881 then $8,622 per year for continuing treatment. During the last year of life, if the death is related to cancer the female can expect to pay out $109,842 in medical costs compared to $20,462 if her death is not related to her cancer diagnosis.
For a man who is older than 65, the initial diagnosis can cost him $60,701 with continuing treatment running about $9,337 per year. The last year of life’s medical treatment runs about $116,596 if the cancer leads to death while medical treatment during the last year of life is expected to cost $27,200 if the death does not result from cancer.
While all kinds of cancer are considered expensive medical conditions to treat, lymphoma ranks at the top of the price range. Even for the insured, there are copays and deductibles. Radiotherapy, chemotherapy, bone marrow transplants and the medications are expensive.
The SSA Evaluation and Medical Qualifications
There are strict guidelines that must be followed by the SSA in order to determine whether an individual is rendered disabled by a lymphoma diagnosis and if he or she qualifies for SSDI benefits. There is a step-by-step process that revolves around five questions.
This process involves acquiring your medical records so still be approved for disability with the help of a residual functioning capacity (RFC) form completed by your physician.
In the case of lymphoma, the form will explain how your symptoms, such as fatigue, night sweats, chronic fevers, shortness of breath, abdominal discomfort, swollen lymph nodes, constant feeling of fullness in the abdomen and so forth impact your ability to walk, lift, stretch and bend regularly to conduct your regular work duties.
While lymphoma is treated by bone marrow transplants, chemotherapy and radiotherapy to address the symptoms, your physician will note how the treatment is impacting your ability to work as well. There are no cures for lymphoma, so there is not a good prognosis for those diagnosed with the disease.
How to Apply Specific Medical Tests
The Disability Determination Services will look at your medical records and any tests you have undergone to address your medical diagnosis. Additional medical evaluations can be ordered by the SSA at their expense. These evaluations are not for medical treatment, but are for informational purposes. They will help the SSA determine if the treatment you have undergone has lessened your symptoms.
In addition, your education level, past jobs and any transferable skills are considered to determine if you are able to do some other kind of work. However, usually with lymphoma you are rendered unable to work because as mentioned earlier, there is no cure or permanent solution to your health condition or symptoms.
Sometimes a mental evaluation can be ordered to see how your cancer diagnosis has impacted your mental well-being. The diagnosis may have caused you problems such as depression or anxiety which can further impact your ability to function in the workplace. Those diagnosed with lymphoma can be approved for benefits anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months after applying for SSDI.