Long Beach Lawyers Discuss
Collecting Social Security Disability for Breast Cancer –
The compassionate lawyers at the Long Beach law firm of Cantrell Green understand that the physical, emotional and economic effects of battling breast cancer can be overwhelming. We know that you are unable to work, but that you still need to support yourself and your family as you take care of your health and recover. If you are unable to work due to breast cancer, our skilled and caring lawyers are here to assist you obtain Social Security Disability benefits for which you qualify – as quickly and as easily as possible.
Does Breast Cancer Automatically Qualify Me for Social Security Disability?
Breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer in the world. There are many kinds of breast cancer. In addition, as most cancer patients understand, depending upon how early cancer is diagnosed there are different stages of cancer. Under some circumstances proving a diagnosis of breast cancer will immediately result in benefits. In other cases, it may take more proof and documentation to qualify for social security based on your diagnosis.
Whether Social Security immediately approves your Social Security disability claim for breast cancer will depend upon the type, prognosis, stage and progression of your breast cancer.
Social Security will generally immediately approve forms of breast cancers that:
• are inoperable versus being controlled with treatment
• have distant metastases (has spread), or
• are recurrent after surgical procedures or irradiation
Three Ways to Collect Social Security for Breast Cancer– Los Angeles Lawyers
1. Compassionate Allowance– Los Angeles Disability Lawyers
The Social Security administration recently implemented a program called “Compassionate Allowances” to expedite benefits to those with advanced cancers and other advanced diseases. Faster processing of benefits can be welcome news to someone who is trying to make ends meet while bravely battling breast cancer.
Breast cancer qualifies as a Compassionate Allowances condition if it has:
• “distant metastases” (spread to lymph nodes or organs) or
• is inoperable (surgery is not an option) or
• is un-resectable (not able to be completely removed)
• Stage IV cancer
Remember that any of these conditions must be supported with sufficient medical documentation. The SSA will typically request a pathology report and an operative report to provide evidence that your breast cancer qualifies for Compassionate Allowance treatment.
Additionally, some breast cancer may not initially qualify for compassionate allowance at the time of the original application, but then may progress and will qualify for a Compassionate Allowance when cancer worsens.
2. Meeting the Disability (Blue Book) Listing
Social Security has a Blue Book of medical conditions that immediately qualify for disability benefits – provided the condition is medically documented.
The Social Security Blue Book addresses breast cancer under Listing 13.10. If an individual has breast cancer, they must have one of the following to qualify for disability benefits:
• inflammatory carcinoma
• tumor with direct extension to the chest wall or skin
• distant metastases
• metastases to the supraclavicularor or infraclavicular nodes
• metastaes to ten or more axillary nodes
• metastases to the ipsilateral internal mammary nodes, or
• recurrent carcinoma (excluding a local recurrence that is controlled by treatment).
Your doctor can give you an opinion as to whether your breast cancer meets any one or more of the above criteria. If it does, he or she can provide medical documentation for you to submit to the Social Security Administration to ensure that you receive the benefits you deserve.
Even if your medical records don’t satisfy the requirements of the breast cancer listing in the SSA Blue Book (above), you can still be approved if you qualify for benefits under a Medical-Vocational Allowance.
3. Medical-Vocational Allowance
If you don’t meet the requirements of the blue book breast cancer listing, it will usually be because your condition is not considered by the Social Security Administration to be as “advanced” as the disability listing requires. In these casse the SSA will look at how much “functional capacity” (ability to work) you have.
The Social Security Administration will look at factors such as:
• how much you can lift and carry
• the length of time you are able to sit, stand, or walk
Treatment for breast cancer – such as surgery or chemotherapy and radiation – can make it difficult for a breast cancer patient to work. Fatigue, pain, headaches, depression, memory loss can all interfere with your ability to be employed.
In some cases the SSA may determine that you can do sedentary work only. But if you are given a sedentary RFC and are over age 50, you have a good chance of getting benefits under a medical-vocational allowance.
Long Beach Social Security Disability Lawyers for Breast Cancer
We understand that when you are facing breast cancer, you need all of your energy and resources to fight the disease and try and heal. The application and documentation process of Social Security can be exhausting – and yet you desperately need your benefits to support yourself and your family.
Our experienced Social Security lawyers are here to help you get the maximum benefits for which you qualify, as quickly as possible. Call our office today and we will answer your questions and tell you how we can assist in the Social Security application or appeal process – so you can focus on feeling better and taking care of yourself.