How To Qualify For Social Security Disability Benefits With Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer and women have a 1 in 8 chance of developing breast cancer at some point. Those odds are higher if you have a family history of breast cancer. If you develop breast cancer you can apply for Social Security disability costs to help you pay for living expenses while you are too sick to work. The only requirement for applying for Social Security disability benefits is that you expect to be unable to work for at least a year.
Social Security Disability Benefits for Breast Cancer
All of the conditions that qualify for Social Security disability benefits are listed in the Social Security Administrations Blue Book. Your condition and diagnosis must meet the criteria in the Blue Book in order for your application for benefits to be approved. The Blue Book listing for breast cancer is very specific and it states that in order to qualify for benefits your breast cancer must meet at least one of these requirements:
- A Stage 3 or higher breast cancer that has extended to the chest, skin, or internal mammary nodes.
- A carcinoma that has spread above or below the collarbone, has spread to 10+ nearby nodes, or spread to distant regions of the chest.
- A carcinoma that returns after anticancer therapy.
- Small-cell carcinoma.
Medical Vocational Allowance
Applying For Social Security Disability Benefits
Qualifying For Disability Benefits With Breast Ovarian Or Endometrial Cancer
If you or a woman you love has been diagnosed with cancer, there may be financial aid available for your family. The Social Security Administration offers monthly benefits for people who are unable to work for a year or more due to a serious illness. While breast, ovarian, or endometrial cancer all do not automatically qualify for benefits, thousands of women are eligible for assistance.
Cancers That Are Aggressive Inoperable Or Unresectable That Have Recurred After Treatment Or That Have Metastasized Are Eligible For Disability Benefits
By Melissa Linebaugh, Contributing Author
Qualifying for Social Security disability benefits for cancer can be straightforward for some aggressive cancers , but for others, you’ll need to provide the Social Security Administration with convincing evidence to show either that 1) your cancer fulfills the qualifications for the SSA’s disability listing for that particular cancer or 2) the symptoms or treatment for your cancer limit you so much that you can’t work.
Cancers that were inoperable or unresectable with surgery, that have recurred after treatment, or that metastasized to other places are eligible for disability benefits. Here are some explanations of the ins and outs of getting disability for various types and stages of cancer.
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Is Breast Cancer Classed As A Disability
For the purposes of the Equality Act 2010 anyone who has or has had breast cancer is classed as disabled.
The Equality Act protects employees from being discriminated against because of their disability.
The Disability Discrimination Act continues to protect people living in Northern Ireland.
You cannot lose your job or be treated less favourably for having breast cancer.
Applying For Disability Benefits With Breast Cancer In Texas
Breast cancer its treatments can prevent you from maintaining employment. It may put you out of work for a few weeks, or indefinitely. When your illness is likely to prevent you from working for a year or longer, you can potentially qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Disability benefits can be the financial support you need to get by without employment income.
Social Security Disability Benefit Programs Available
Disability benefits from the Social Security Administration come in two forms. Qualifying medically is the same for both, but each will have its own technical requirements.
- Social Security Disability Insurance which is for disabled workers who have paid Social Security taxes over their employment history and who have accumulated between 20 and 40 work credits, depending on the age in which you apply. A work credit is a metric that represents how much you actually paid in taxes. Most workers earn the maximum of four work credits per year, so your employment history must typically range from five to ten years to qualify. SSDI recipients in Texas will receive Medicare 24 months after their cancer started.
- Supplemental Security Income which is a support program available to low-income individuals of all ages, including disabled children and adults as well as the elderly. This program has strict income and financial asset limits, but there are no work history requirements to qualify. SSI recipients in Texas will automatically be enrolled in Medicaid.
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Disability Benefits For People With Cancer
All of the medical problems that make someone eligible to receive disability benefits are listed in the Social Security Administrations Blue Book. Each listing in the Blue Book has a set of requirements that must be met to be considered eligible for disability benefits. Not every type of cancer has a listing in the Blue Book, and the ones that do, have very specific requirements, so please read this information carefully.
In general, any cancer that is Stage IV or terminal will automatically qualify a person to receive disability benefits. A very serious cancer diagnosis qualifies for the Compassionate Allowance program, which expedites the claim for disability benefits to start receiving money quickly. To qualify for Compassionate Allowance, the cancer must meet one of these requirements:
- The cancer has spread beyond the region of origin
- The cancer is inoperable
- The cancer is recurrent despite treatment
If your cancer meets one of these requirements, you should submit a claim as soon as possible for disability benefits. You will also need to submit medical records, such as test results, MRIs, and a cancer diagnosis from an oncologist at our cancer center. The Social Security Administration will automatically flag your claim for Compassionate Allowance because of the seriousness of the diagnosis. You dont have to ask for Compassionate Allowance.
Financial Support When You Have Breast Cancer
Money concerns, whether permanent or temporary, can be particularly stressful at a time when you feel less able to cope. Many people with breast cancer dont claim benefits because theyre unaware of what theyre entitled to, are too embarrassed to ask for help, or find the system complicated.
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You May Prove Eligibility Another Way
You may also be eligible for Social Security disability if you have breast cancer and you:
Have symptoms that are equal in severity to another listing in the Listing of Impairments.
You have another medical condition that meets the requirements of a listing in the Listing of Impairments.
You lack the residual capacity to work because of your medical condition.
Regardless of how you qualify for Social Security disability, you must be able to provide documentation of your diagnosis and treatment. You will need copies of:
Your doctors notes.
Treatment records from a hospital or clinic.
You will also benefit from a letter from your oncologist describing how your disease or your treatment prevents you from being able to work.
Get The Help You Deserve When Applying For Social Security Disability
If you believe you qualify for Social Security disability based on your breast cancer then it is important to get legal help before you file your application for benefits. Our experienced lawyers know how to accurately and effectively complete Social Security disability applications so that you can increase your chances of getting the financial support that you deserve during this difficult time. Please contact us today via this website or by phone to learn more about your rights and how to protect them.
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Obtaining Disability Benefits With Breast Cancer
There are three ways to obtain disability benefits from Social Security if you have breast cancer:
- Your breast cancer qualifies as a Compassionate Allowances condition.
- Your breast cancer meets or equal a disability listing in the Listing of Impairments.
- Your breast cancer results in physical or mental limitations that prevent you from performing any work.
Giving Up Work After Breast Cancer
Some people choose to stop working altogether after a diagnosis of breast cancer. This may be for health reasons or because the experience of having breast cancer has made them reassess whats important. However, giving up work is not an option for everyone and your circumstances may mean its not possible for you to do this.
Giving up work for good means you also give up any rights and benefits linked to your job, such as pension rights. So if youre planning to stop working, get independent employment advice before you make any decisions.
Talk to other people who have been in a similar situation. You can share concerns and experiences through our online discussion Forum. Our Someone Like Me service can put you in touch with someone who has experience of the issues youre facing.
Macmillan Cancer Support has more information about how cancer and cancer treatments may have an impact on your employment.
Also Check: What Happens When Breast Cancer Metastasis
Social Security Benefits For Disability
While a breast cancer diagnosis will not always automatically qualify, cancer is the third most-commonly approved condition for Social Security benefits.
How to Appeal Denial for Social Security Disability
However, if you apply for disability and find that your claim was denied, dont worry!
You can file an appeal online. The Social Security Administration will take a second look at your application. It is more likely you will be approved during this stage than the initial one.
The financial assistance you receive through disability benefits means that you can focus on you and your health!
Medically Qualifying For Benefits Under The Breast Cancer Listing
After you submit your disability application to the SSA, its forwarded to a Disability Determination Services office for a thorough review. Here, a specialist is assigned to your claim, and he or she compares your application, medical records, and other evidence with the SSAs standard disability listing. This listing appears in the Blue Book, a manual of recognized impairments and the medical evidence required for proving a severe disability with each condition.
The breast cancer listing is in Section 13.10 and requires you have:
- Oat or small-cell carcinoma
- Carcinoma of any kind that has spread or metastasized to the skin, chest wall, internal mammary nodes, or to regional or distant lymph nodes.
- Carcinoma of any kind that has returned after initial treatment, except when the cancer is a local cancer that goes into remission after anticancer therapy.
- Lymphedema that results from your surgical, radiation, chemotherapy, or other anticancer treatments.
- Inflammatory Breast Cancer
With an advanced breast cancer or a more aggressive form of carcinoma, like small or oat cell cancer, you additionally qualify for expedited review of your claim under the SSAs compassionate allowances program. This means that your claim could be approved in as little as 10 days.
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A Guide To Disability Benefits And Breast Cancer
When youre dealing with a diagnosis of breast cancer, or already going through treatment, your health is obviously top priority. But making sure you have financial support is also crucial.
Disability benefits can give you some much-needed peace of mind when youre dealing with treatment side effects and taking time to heal, but navigating the system and understanding if you qualify can be a challenge.
This is especially true for those with early stage breast cancer, according to Sophie Summers, a human resources manager at software firm RapidAPI.
In the initial stage of breast cancer, you have to cross more miles to get disability benefits, she says. Those suffering from stage 3 or above are more likely to medically qualify, but there are still ways to get some benefits, such as coverage of medications.
Applying For Disability Insurance After Cancer
Once you are in remission, have had your cancer removed or treated, and a doctor has given you the all-clear after a follow-up appointment, you can apply for a disability insurance policy to ensure that your income is protected from other health issues in the future.
Former cancer patients arenât uninsurable, but applying for disability insurance with a pre-existing condition can mean that youâll have higher premiums.
As with life insurance, when you initially submit your disability application, your quotes may seem very high due to your history of cancer. But a disability insurance specialist like the specialists at Policygenius can help you find the right carrier and build the right plan that provides the right amount of protection at the lowest premium possible.
There are several ways to lower your premium if you have a history of cancer:
Lower your benefit period
Depending on your health history, the disability specialist may suggest that you apply through a high-risk carrier and purchase a policy that only provides benefits for three to five years, instead of until retirement then, once you have several years without claims, you can reapply for a more robust policy.
Step-graded coverage for illnesses
If you have a history of cancer, itâs very likely that cancer will be listed as an exclusion and wonât be covered by your policy. How specific the exclusion is depends on your history, including what type and stage of cancer you had.
Recommended Reading: What To Do If You Think You Have Breast Cancer
I Felt Pushed Out Of My Company
and I had not planned to retire so soon. I had a single mastectomy and chemo. The chemo affected me, as it does many others, with “chemo-brain,” and I was diagnosed after a full day of testing with cognitive impairment. The testing was done at the request of the insurance carrier. My company kept pressuring me to come back to work, in spite of the cognitive diagnosis. The insurance carrier seemed not to believe their contracted person who had done the testing and diagnosis.
So I was pressured by my company to return to work. The insurance company did not believe their own testing and were refusing to support me anymore. I had cognitive impairment. I felt completely unsupported by the organizations that were badgering me, so I retired. Im not happy about the circumstances, but happy that I’m out of the rat race. I hope I’ve got enough money to see me through to the end of my life. Albertan
Qualifying For Social Security Benefits With Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant cancer cells form in the tissues of the breast. It is the most commonly diagnosed cancer for women, with over 200,000 women being diagnosed per year.
Although you will be facing some tough challenges, if you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, there may be resources available for your family to make things a little easier.
A diagnosis of breast cancer will almost always require surgery and/or radiation. Most breast cancer patients will also require chemotherapy.
Without insurance, the costs of these treatments can be astronomical.
Recommended Reading: How Common Is Breast Cancer In 30s
Contact A Social Security Disability Attorney At 512
Initial treatment usually involves some type of surgery to remove a tumor and determine if the cancer has spread to lymph nodes. Breast reconstruction may also be necessary.
Other treatments commonly used before and after surgery include:
- Chemotherapy used before surgery to shrink a tumor or after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells.
- Radiation to destroy any remaining cancer cells after surgery.
- Hormone therapy used before and after surgery to reduce the risk of cancer returning. This treatment is also used in cases where treated cancer has returned.
- Drugs specifically designed to block the growth and spread of cancer cells.
All treatment plans are based on the type of breast cancer and the stage of cancer and take into consideration any special patient circumstances.
The presence of cancer in lymph nodes will often affect the treatment plan, but not all patients with breast cancer in the lymph nodes develop metastases .
The Social Security Administration recognizes breast cancer as an impairment under Section 13.10, and considers the following when evaluating all cancers or malignant neoplastic diseases:
In order to qualify for disability benefits as a result of breast cancer, you must be able to present evidence from your medical providers to prove the following about your condition:
The second category is the Medical Eligibility Requirement.
Take Advantage Of Help Along The Way
Figuring out benefits and programs can be confusing, especially when some may seem to overlap. Take advantage of a host of resources that can help. Among them:
- To get up to speed on Social Security disability benefits, see Disability Benefits, an online booklet published by the Social Security Administration. Included is information on who is eligible, how to apply and what you need to know when the benefits begin.
- Some cancer centers and hospitals may offer programs to help you decipher disability programs. Call the cancer center or hospital where you received treatment to inquire, or ask your oncologist.
- Hire an attorney to help with an appeal. Disability attorneys can be found through your local or state bar associations lawyer referral service. These attorneys are required to provide assistance on a contingency basis, which means that they get paid only if they help get you past benefits.
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