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Legal Help For People Diagnosed With Malignant Brain Tumors

Brain cancer occurs when an abnormal mass of cells begins to grow inside the brain or in the central spinal canal. A brain cancer’s severity will depend on the size and location of the tumor, and whether the cancer also extends to other parts of the body.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has established the requirements for qualifying for disability benefits. The first requirement is that the disability relating to this life-threatening disease must have been there for at least 12 months. In addition, the patient’s condition must meet all the requirements for eligibility as listed within the SSA’s Blue Book to qualify for disability benefits. Even if you believe you meet every requirement listed in the Blue Book, you will still be required to provide sufficient proof of your condition to support your claim.

Below are a few tips you should take into consideration when applying for disability benefits relating to malignant tumors.woman-with-brain-tumor-PH7V-1

  1. Medical proof: 

When you have an accumulation of cancerous cells, the SSA is more likely to approve your application for benefits when you meet specific criteria, like if your cancer recurs even after treatment.

To determine whether you are eligible for disability benefits, the SSA will take a close look at all of the notes from your doctor or your clinic, along with the radiology reports and lab results.

One of the common types of cancer, called glioblastoma multiforme, is listed under the SSA’s compassionate allowances program. This means that the SSA generally will approve benefits within weeks rather than months or years. If you hope to qualify for the compassionate allowances program, you must include all critical information and relevant medical forms with your application.

 2. Non-medical evidence: 

If you do not meet the medical eligibility approval, you may still qualify for benefits because of the medical-vocational allowance. Under such circumstances, SSA may determine that you cannot return to your work and cannot work in any less demanding jobs based on your age, working experience, and education.

The SSA will also assess your residual functional capacity (RFC), which is your capability to work with your disability conditions. Side effects from cancer treatments may include severe nausea, fatigue, and a weakened immune system. The treatments can also lead to limited mental capabilities, which might prevent you from working.

Once you have completed the RFC, the SSA will review your medical records. 

Your doctor might write a statement for inclusion with your RFC on your behalf. This might involve information regarding your ability to perform basic tasks, such as standing, walking, focusing, and following directions.

  3. Have proper knowledge of how the SSA will determine your case: The SSA is most likely to approve your application for benefits if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • The cancer has widely spread in your body
  • The cancer returns even after treatment

Several kinds of brain cancer are not particularly aggressive, and they may not meet the requirements as required by the SSA’s Blue Book. However, that does not mean that patients with those conditions will not qualify for benefits. 

The first thing that SSA will likely do is review your RFC. This process helps the SSA determine how the cancer and related treatments have affected your capacity to work.

The SSA will review the following elements:

  • The symptoms and other health issues you are experiencing as a result of your tumor
  • The treatments you have undergone in the past or are currently receiving
  • The limitations that this condition has caused you 

When your RFC analysis shows that you cannot work in any kind of job because of your medical condition, then the SSA will consider you to be disabled and medically deserving of benefits. Special qualifying rules are applicable for people who are applying for a disability over the age of 50. Even if you meet the Blue Book listing or qualify under RFC analysis, the SSA will still need to review the medical records that support your claim:

  • Your diagnosis, including the type and stage
  • How much your cancer has progressed
  • The symptoms you are facing
  • The location of the tumor
  • The treatments you are getting and their efficacy
  • Prognosis
  • Imaging scans that indicate the tumor’s location
  • Records of hospital admission

Cancer can cause a lot of changes in the patient’s body and mind. Cancer patients often must undergo many treatments, including chemotherapy sessions, radiation therapy, and rigorous medication regimes. These treatments have the potential to harm a patient’s mental health. As a result, an individual may face depression, anxiety, and panic disorders.

It is very important to help patients stay positive and motivated throughout this process. In addition, it is suggested that patients follow all of the instructions they receive from their healthcare providers. Keep all of your medical documents safe, as these can help you strengthen your disability case.

Concentrate on your health and let a professional handle the legal aspects.

An experienced disability lawyer can utilize their deep knowledge regarding how the SSA makes its decisions about whom to grant financial assistance. One of the essential factors in getting your disability claim approved is providing comprehensive details about your condition and associated limitations.

If you have filed a claim for benefits and the SSA denied your application, your lawyer can help you prove that the medical-vocational approach will be insufficient for your situation. It is important to know the types of questions that a vocational expert might ask a cancer patient. Legal professionals can help you prepare for any questions that you might be asked.