Applying for Disability Benefits with Urethral Cancer

You’ve been in pain for a while now, and been missing more and more days at work. Someone suggests that you file for Social Security disability, but should you do it?

If you have a mental or physical impairment that interferes with your ability to work, disability payments can help cover your living expenses and even medical treatments. Urethral cancer is one such condition that can result in a finding of disability.

Urethral Cancer Explained

Urethral cancer, also known as ureter cancer or renal pelvic cancer, is a rare condition that develops in the system that carries urine from the kidneys to the bladder. Approximately 2,400 new cases are diagnosed each year, with men over 65 presenting the greatest risk of developing urethral cancer.

Around 90% of all cases affect the transitional cells lining the ureter, while the remaining 10% involve the squamous cells that line the ureter and portions of the kidney.

Symptoms include:

  • Dark and / or bloody urine
  • Pain in the area where the spine and ribs meet
  • Difficult urination
  • Cramps or back pain
  • Fatigue

Given the intensifying pain levels involved with urethral cancer, it is one of the conditions that qualifies for a Compassionate Allowance, which is an expedited consideration of your claim and quicker arrival of benefits.

Qualifying for Disability Benefits

Whenever the SSA receives a disability application, it consults the Blue Book, which lists all known impairments and the medical criteria for each, to see if the applicant’s condition meets a listing.

Urethral cancer is referenced in Listing 13.21 Kidneys, adrenal glands, or ureters, which states that the SSA will consider you disabled if the cancer:

  • Is inoperable or unresectable
  • Continues to return despite treatment
  • Has reached or extended beyond the regional lymph nodes.

Being a Compassionate Allowance listing, an approved disability claim for urethral cancer could see you start receiving benefits in as little as 20 days.

The Application Process

After receiving a confirmed diagnosis, you begin the application process by completing a form and sending it off to the SSA together with medical documentation that verifies the nature and extent of your disability. For urethral cancer, this might include:

  • Physical exam and history
  • Urinalysis
  • Ureteroscopic cytology
  • Intravenous pyelogram (IVP)
  • Images from a CT scan and/or ultrasound.

Although urethral cancer is a Compassionate Allowance condition, it is possible that your claim may be rejected the first time around. To reduce this risk, engaging the support of a Social Security Disability attorney or advocate is a worthwhile investment. Either one of these professionals can assist you by:

  • Ensuring that the application is filled out correctly
  • Advising you on which medical records you will need
  • Representing you at any appeals, which is when most applicants stand their best chance of winning the benefits they need.

Obtaining the support of an attorney or advocate will increase the likelihood of a favorable decision on your claim, which makes the time and minor expense of retaining professional support well worth it.