When an accident or illness leaves you disabled, it can be difficult to know where to turn. Because you are unable to work full-time, you worry about how to support your family, and there is also the sobering reality that medical treatment is expensive. If your condition is expected to last at least one year or end in death, you may be eligible for monthly cash benefits from one of the two Social Security Administration (SSA) disability programs.
Vascular tumors is one medical condition that can qualify you for disability benefits, provided that they affect you in a way that meets the SSA’s definition of disability.
Vascular Tumors Explained
As their name suggests, vascular tumors are formed from blood vessels. While some are noncancerous, such as hemangiomas that form on the skin or liver, others can be signal a life-threatening condition. Examples include Kaposi Sarcoma, in which tumors form on the connective tissue, and angiosarcoma, a cancer of the inner lining of the blood cells. The more severe conditions can qualify a person for a Compassionate Allowance, which is an expedited processing of their disability application.
It is important to remember that where tumors are concerned, benign doesn’t mean harmless. Depending on where they develop, they can cause respiratory, neurological, and other complications. Lasting impairments can even result from certain treatments.
Qualifying for Disability Benefits
Anyone who applies for disability benefits will have their symptoms compared to the listings in the Blue Book, which is the SSA catalog of disabling impairments. There is no specific listing for vascular tumors, but they are referenced in several listed conditions such as:
- Kaposi Sarcoma
- Brain tumors
- Cancer of the breast
If the vascular tumors are symptomatic of a form of cancer that is unresectable or inoperable, you may be eligible to have your application reviewed more quickly and, if it is approved, receive your benefits in weeks instead of months.
The Application Process
When you apply for disability benefits, you have to download or pick up a copy of the official application form, fill out all required information, and send it to the SSA along with medical records that confirm your diagnosis, response to treatment, and prognosis. Depending on where the vascular tumors are manifesting in your system, such records might include:
- Physical examination results
- Ultrasound imaging
- X-rays, MRIs and CT scans
- Pathology reports for biopsy specimens
- Surgical notes
- Treatment history as well as your response to each treatment
When you apply, you have the right to have a Social Security Disability attorney or advocate represent you at any stage. Expert input can be especially beneficial when you’re struggling with the application process, and may even increase the chance of your claim being approved, as they will ensure that the application is filled out correctly, help you collect all required medical evidence, and even represent you in court if an appeal is necessary. When it comes to obtaining the benefits you need, the time expended in securing the support of an attorney or advocate will soon pay off.