Few things are more frightening for a woman than a cancer diagnosis. Not only are you worried about your own future, you may also be too tired or debilitated to work full time and both support your family and maintain health insurance for your treatments. For those in your situation, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has disability programs available to meet your living expenses and treatment costs. A diagnosis of vaginal cancer can get you monthly cash benefits to ease your financial burden and help you focus on recovery.
If you have been diagnosed with vulvar cancer, you are in a position to apply for this monthly cash support.
Vulvar Cancer Explained
Vaginal cancer is comparatively uncommon, accounting for no more than 3% of all cancers of the female reproductive system. It begins in the cells of the vaginal tissue, with approximately 90% of all diagnoses being squamous cell carcinomas. The remaining 10% consist of less common types such as sarcomas, melanomas, and adenocarcinomas, melanomas and sarcomas.
Treatment typically consists of surgery along with immunotherapy, chemotherapy, and radiation. These aggressive anti-cancer measures can leave you feeling even worse, especially if your form of vaginal cancer is of the small-cell variety. If this happens to be the case, you may be eligible for a Compassionate Allowance, which allows applicants with fatal or especially severe illnesses to receive benefits more quickly.
Qualifying for Disability Benefits
The SSA takes all disability applications and compares the person’s condition to the disabilities listed in its official guidebook, otherwise known as the Blue Book. If you meet a listing, you will be considered disabled. Vaginal cancer is covered in Listing 13.23: Cancers of the female genital tract, which applies if the cancer:
- Is invading adjacent organs, OR
- Has extended (metastasized) to or beyond the local lymph nodes, OR
- Returns despite therapy
The Application Process
To apply for SSA disability benefits, you are required to fill out an application form, collect relevant medical documentation, and submit a complete package to the SSA. If you have vaginal cancer, below is a list of some documents you may have to provide:
- Results of a physical examination
- CT scans and other forms of diagnostic imaging
- Pathology report of surgical specimens
- Bone marrow test results
- Cell histology showing small-cell cancer of the female genital tract
Be aware that the majority of applications are denied on the first round. Don’t give up if this happens to you. Instead, consider retaining the services of a Social Security disability attorney or advocate. Statistics suggest that professional input and representation for your disability claim significantly increases your chances of ultimately receiving benefits. A Social Security attorney or advocate will help you file your application, as well as represent you at a hearing if your initial claim is denied. It is an advantage that well worth any minor cost involved, and can give you peace of mind for the future.