Individuals and families dealing with a cancer diagnosis face any number of life challenges while battling the disease and undergoing treatments. Often, the disease and the treatments make it impossible for people dealing with cancer to continue to work.
All forms of cancer can qualify you for Social Security Disability benefits if your condition is severe and advanced enough, and over 40 forms of cancer automatically qualify you for Social Security Disability benefits. If you have one of these forms of cancer, you will qualify for a compassionate allowance, which will allow you to start receiving Social Security disability benefits and Medicare much more quickly (generally within three weeks) than other Social Security Disability claimants. You can check the Social Security Administration (SSA)’s list of qualifying conditions on their website at www.ssa.com.
Some forms of cancer can cause pain and fatigue, which can make it impossible to perform physical work. Additionally, many of the treatments used to fight cancer can cause debilitating symptoms which make physical activity impossible. Assuming you don’t have a form of cancer which qualifies you for a compassionate allowance, the extent and severity of your cancer’s impact on your ability to perform physical tasks will be considered in determining if you are qualified for Social Security Disability benefits. Make sure that all physical limitations are clearly detailed in terms of what you can and cannot do on your Social Security Disability application.
Many people are in professions that do not involve performing physical labor and are considered sedentary work. The SSA defines sedentary work as work which requires you to sit for extended periods of time and to lift less than 10 pounds. Sedentary work often involves education, people skills, or manual dexterity. Cancer can and does often affect a person’s ability to work with people and his or her manual dexterity. You will want to make sure that all physical and mental limitations to employment are clearly and thoroughly mentioned in your Social Security Disability claim.