Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer and in most cases comes from exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Symptoms of melanoma vary on a case-to-case basis. However, frequent signs and symptoms include a change in color, size, or shape of an existing mole. Malignant melanoma is a lethal form of skin cancer that cause further symptoms, such as lymph node abnormalities, trouble breathing, persistent cough, a swollen liver, fatigue, bone pain, and headaches. Depending upon which stage your melanoma is currently at, treatment options may include immunotherapy, surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. But can you get Social Security disability benefits for melanoma? We’ll explain what the Social Security Administration (SSA) looks for below.
Can You Get Disability Benefits for Melanoma?
The SSA has malignant melanoma with metastases listed on its Compassionate Allowance List (CAL). As a CAL list condition, this means the SSA considers this type of melanoma severe enough to automatically count as a disability. In fact, the SSA should expedite your claim so you get Social Security disability benefits for melanoma in about 30 days.
If your melanoma diagnosis doesn’t fit the CAL list description shown above, don’t worry. The SSA uses its Blue Book of disabling conditions to review less severe melanoma cases applying for SSD benefits. The SSA uses the criteria outlined in this Blue Book to determine the qualifying conditions for Social Security disability benefits. You can find the disability listing for melanoma under Blue Book section 13.03 – Skin. There, you’ll find the following claim evaluation criteria:
A. Sarcoma or carcinoma with metastases to or beyond the regional lymph nodes
B. Carcinoma invading deep extra dermal structures (for example, skeletal muscle, cartilage, or bone)
It’s important to know that even if you don’t meet the exact guidelines listed above, you may still qualify for Social Security disability benefits for melanoma. For this reason, it’s crucial to provide the SSA with proper medical documentation and further evidence that supports your disability case.
You May Qualify for Legal Assistance
You likely have many questions about the disability claim review and approval process. Why not sign up for a free phone call from a disability advocate or attorney in your area? An advocate or attorney can review your case, explain next steps, answer your questions and help maximize your benefits. All Social Security attorneys work on contingency. That means if the SSA won’t award you benefits, then you pay $0 for legal assistance. And if you do win benefits, then you’ll only pay a small, one-time fee.
People who qualify for legal assistance through this website typically get $12,000 in lump-sum back payments along with monthly benefits. Those who apply on their own without legal help usually don’t win benefits until after they appeal in court. That means they won’t get their first disability payment until two years after their initial application date, if at all.
Ready to see if you may qualify? Click the button below to start your free online benefits evaluation now!
Lori Polemenakos is Director of Consumer Content and SEO strategist for LeadingResponse, a legal marketing company. An award-winning journalist, writer and editor based in Dallas, Texas, she's produced articles for major brands such as Match.com, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Xfinity, Mail.com, and edited several published books. Since 2016, she's published hundreds of articles about Social Security disability, workers' compensation, veterans' benefits, personal injury, mass tort, auto accident claims, bankruptcy, employment law and other related legal issues.