We do not request reimbursement of costs
(such as repayment for obtaining medical records)
from veterans nor from people who suffer from multiple sclerosis.

Can You Get Disability Benefits For Leukemia?

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 and interventions used to treat the disease can also lead to other disabling conditions, such as cognitive impairment, anemia, anxiety, depression, and other disorders. 

What is Leukemia?

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.

Disability For Leukemia

SSDI for Acute and Chronic Leukemia

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.

SSI for Acute and Chronic Leukemia

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. 

Navigating the Benefits Application Process for Leukemia Patients 

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:

  • Gather Medical Documentation: Obtain copies of your medical records, including diagnosis and treatment history related to leukemia. It may include an oncologist’s notes, laboratory results, imaging reports, and other relevant medical documents that provide evidence of your condition.
  • Complete the Application: You can apply for public disability benefits online, by phone, or in person at your local SSA office. 
  • Submit Documents: Include all relevant medical documentation, such as your medical records, test results, treatment plans, and any other evidence that supports your claim for disability for leukemia. This will help the SSA assess the severity of your condition and determine your eligibility for benefits.
  • Application Process: You can apply for disability benefits online at https://www.ssa.gov/, by phone at 1-800-772-1213, or in person at your local SSA office.
  • Final Decision: The SSA will review your application and medical evidence. They will notify you of their decision in writing. If your claim is approved, you will receive information on the amount of benefits you are eligible to receive and when it will start.

Accommodations and Workplace Considerations for Leukemia Patients

Some of the appropriate strategies that may be helpful for patients struggling with leukemia disability may include:

  • Flexible Work Schedule: Workers living with leukemia may require frequent medical appointments, treatments, and rest periods due to the physical demands of the disease and its treatments. 
  • Telecommuting or Remote Work: Telecommuting or remote work arrangements may benefit those who need to limit their exposure to infections, have mobility issues, or need to conserve their energy. 
  • Workplace Modifications: Modifying the workplace environment can be helpful for people with leukemia. 
  • Leave of Absence: Employees may also consider providing appropriate leave of absence options, such as Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave, disability leave, or other forms of unpaid or paid leave, as needed.
  • Supportive Work Environment: Creating a supportive and understanding work environment can also be crucial for patients with leukemia.

Reasonable Accommodations: Employers are required by law, under the Americans with Disabilities Act, to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities, including cancer.

Were Your Disability Benefits Denied? Contact Our Law Firm 

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.

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