Social Security Disability Benefits for Breast Cancer

Social Security Disability Benefits for Breast Cancer

What is Breast Cancer?

According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is a malignant tumor that forms amongst the cells of the breast and invades surrounding tissue. This invasion can cause the disease to spread to other parts of the body, potentially affecting other organs. Common symptoms associated with breast cancer are a lump in breast or underarm, swelling in the armpit, and pain or tenderness of breast. Breast cancer is commonly treated through surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, targeted therapy, and bone-directed therapy.



Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits for Breast Cancer

The side effects of breast cancer can often limit the ability to work causing many people to seek the financial support of Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes that some stages of breast cancer, such as Stage IV, are so severe that they automatically meet the definition of disability. For this reason, the SSA, as put the condition on the Compassionate Allowance List (CAL), allowing for faster application approval times.

If you are not eligible to have your claim expedited through CAL, you may qualify for SSD benefits by meeting the guidelines outlined in the SSA’s Blue Book. The Blue Book is used by the SSA during the approval process to better determine the qualifying conditions for Social Security Disability. Breast cancer falls under section 13.10 Breast (except sarcoma–13.04) of the Blue Book and victims of this disease must meet one of the following:

A. Locally advanced cancer (inflammatory carcinoma, cancer of any size with direct extension to the chest wall or skin, or cancer of any size with metastases to the ipsilateral internal mammary nodes).

B. Carcinoma with metastases to the supraclavicular or infraclavicular nodes, to 10 or more axillary nodes, or with distant metastases.

or

C. Recurrent carcinoma, except local recurrence that remits with anticancer therapy.

or

D. Small-cell (oat cell) carcinoma.

For those who have been diagnosed with sarcoma of the breast, you must meet the following criteria located under section 10.04 Soft Tissue Sarcoma:

 A. Soft tissue sarcoma with regional or distant metastases.

OR

B. Persistent or recurrent soft tissue sarcoma following initial anticancer therapy.

If your specific form of breast cancer doesn’t meet any of the above criteria, don’t worry! With the proper medical documentation, evidence of your inability to work, and legal guidance it may still be possible to receive Social Security Disability benefits.

Social Security Disability Advocates and Attorneys

Cancer itself may not be the main reason for receiving SSD benefits. The treatments to cure cancer such as surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy can make it difficult to work. Many people find it beneficial to speak with an experienced disability advocate or attorney before and during the application process to see if they may qualify for legal assistance for filing their claim.

Advocates and attorneys can gather proper documentation and may help maximize the amount of monthly benefits you receive. Click below to take our free benefits evaluation today and see if you may be eligible to speak with an attorney or advocate in your area!

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