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What is Cancer?

Cancer is a disease that can initially have no notable symptoms, and many people with controlled forms of cancer are able to receive treatment without a major disturbance in their daily routine. However, more advanced stages of cancer significantly impair the ability of a sufferer to complete routine tasks. Treatment options for cancer that is advanced and has spread are known to cause serious side effects that could render a person unable to work. When this occurs, it may be time for an individual to research whether they qualify for social security disability insurance (SSDI).

Cancer is a term that is used for any situation in which the cells in the body uncontrollably divide. These abnormally dividing cells attack tissues in the body, and it is possible for cancer to spread to other parts of the body.

Cancer cells can form in parts of the body including:

  • Blood
  • Tissue
  • Muscles
  • Bones
  • Fat
  • Marrow
  • Brain
  • Spinal Cord
  • Immune System

Symptoms of cancer vary according to type, severity and whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Common symptoms include weight loss that cannot be explained by diet, chronic fatigue, persistent fever and pain. Bleeding, swelling or sores in the area that is affected by cancer cells may also be observed, and some cases of cancer involve internal bleeding.

Cancer that is treated by radiation therapy can cause serious side effects. Side effects of cancer treatment include fatigue, pain, hair loss, anemia and an increased susceptibility to infection.

It is estimated that 40 percent of all people will develop some form of cancer in their lifetime.

Can You Get Social Security Disability for Cancer?

Cancer is different than other conditions that may qualify an individual for SSDI benefits because there are generally relaxed requirements for people who have cancer. There are three ways for a person with cancer to qualify for SSDI benefits.

Compassionate Allowances

People who are suffering from a cancer that has metastasized or is considered to be inoperable are often eligible for SSDI benefits through a Social Security Administration (SSA) program known as Compassionate Allowances. This program allows people to qualify for benefits without requiring much medical proof related to the condition. As long as a person can prove that their cancer is in an advanced stage, they will not have to prove that the symptoms of cancer or side effects of treatment make it impossible for them to work.

Disability Listing

Disability listings established by the SSA include certain types of cancer. If a person has one of these types of cancer, they will be able to qualify for SSDI benefits if they meet the requirements as outlined in the SSA listing.

Residual Functional Capacity

If a person has recently been diagnosed with cancer that is in early stages, it may be difficult to qualify for SSDI benefits. In this instance, the person’s ability to perform work tasks will be evaluated by a representative of the SSA.

To discuss SSD and SSI claims or appeals, please call us at (215) 464-7200 or email the attorneys of Chermol & Fishman, LLC. The initial consultation is free, and we never charge a fee until we win your case.