Leukemia and other cancers can be debilitating for individuals and their families. If your condition makes it difficult to work or perform regular activities, you may be able eligible for disability benefits.
To be eligible for Social Security Administration (SSA) benefits, you need to show that your impairments relating to leukemia meets the eligibility criteria listed in the Malignant Neoplastic Diseases listing 13.06 in the Blue Book.
The Blue Book is a reference guide covering various Social Security operations aspects, including eligibility requirements, benefits calculations, claims processing procedures, and other administrative policies and procedures.
Leukemia is a type of cancer that affects the bone marrow and blood. It is characterized by the abnormal production of immature white blood cells, which can accumulate and interfere with the normal functioning of the bone marrow and blood. Different types of leukemia are generally categorized as acute or chronic. The disease can arise from different types of white blood cells, including lymphocytes or myeloid cells.
Symptoms of leukemia can vary but often include fatigue, weakness, frequent infections, fever, and unexplained weight loss. Some people may also experience bruising or bleeding easily, bone pain, swollen lymph nodes, and other nonspecific symptoms. Diagnosis of leukemia typically involves blood tests, bone marrow biopsy, and other imaging or laboratory tests.
Acute leukemia, specifically Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) or Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), can be severe and may affect a person’s ability to work during and after treatment. Chronic leukemia, such as Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL), can also impact a person’s day-to-day functions and negatively impact their ability to earn a living.
If you have been diagnosed with either form of leukemia and are unable or will not be able to work or earn an income for at least 12 months, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. SSDI also requires that a person has paid enough in Social Security taxes to qualify for benefits.
Unlike SSDI, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a need-based program that doesn’t consider previously paid Social Security taxes. The SSI program provides financial assistance to those with limited income and resources that are disabled, blind, or aged.
If your cancer prevents you from engaging in daily activities for at least 12 months, you may be eligible for SSI benefits.
Applying for disability benefits for leukemia typically involves a multi-step process that often includes providing documentation of your medical condition, treatment history, and functional limitations to the SSA. Some of the steps are:
Some of the appropriate strategies that may be helpful for patients struggling with leukemia disability may include:
Reasonable Accommodations: Employers are required by law, under the Americans with Disabilities Act, to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities, including cancer.
If your disability benefits were denied after your initial application, you have the right to appeal the decision.
Requesting a hearing allows you to present your case in person and provide additional evidence and testimony to support your claim. Hiring a disability lawyer can help maximize your chances of success in the disability claim and appeals process. Call us today at 215-464-7200 to schedule a free case consultation.
Monday : 9am–5pm
Tuesday : 9am–5pm
Wednesday : 9am–5pm
Thursday : 9am–5pm
Friday : 9am–5pm
Saturday : Closed