Long Beach Attorneys Explain:
Social Security Disability for Skin Cancer
Southern California is known around the world for its year-round sunshine. But, the downside to this beautiful, sunny weather is the increased risk of skin cancer. According to the CDC more than 47,000 Californians are diagnosed with skin cancer annually – resulting in 288 melanoma deaths every year.
If caught early, skin cancer rarely results in partial or total disability. This is why regular skin cancer screening is essential – especially in Southern California. But, if left undiagnosed and untreated, skin-cancer – like any form of cancer – can spread rapidly and lead to disability and even death.
Our experienced Social Security attorneys are often asked if a person can collect Social Security Disability for Skin Cancer. The simple answers is “yes” – if your skin cancer has left you unable to work any job, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits.
But collecting Social Security for skin cancer is not always easy. If you or a family member is suffering from skin cancer our experienced Social Security attorneys are here to answer your question and help you collect the Social Security benefits you deserve.
There are four primary types of skin cancer:
(1.) Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal Cell Carcinoma is the most common, comprising 90% of all skin cancer in the United States.
This cancer is almost always “contained” in an area and does not spread. This makes the cure rate very high, and the treatment (removal by surgery, freezing, creams or sometimes radiation) fairly rapid.
(2.) Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous Cell Carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer, but can spread to other parts of the body, making it somewhat longer and more difficult to treat.
Though probably the most well-known, Melanoma is a much less common type of skin cancer. But Melanoma can spread quickly. Surgery is required for removal – and if the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes, they must also be removed. If Melanoma has spread beyond the lymph nodes, treatment can involve chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery.
(4.) Kaposi’s Sarcoma
Kaposi’s Sarcoma is another type of skin cancer that generally affects those with suppressed immune systems, including people with HIV or who have had organ transplants. While it cannot be cured, it can be treated by removal of the cancer and treatment of the immunodeficiency.
Qualifying for Social Security Disability with Skin Cancer
The good news is that most types of skin cancer are highly curable if caught early! But the bad news is that this means it may be harder to prove to Social Security that you are unable to work. Remember, Social Security Disability only pays monthly cash benefits to people who are unable to work for a year or more because of their disability.
So, to qualify for Social Security Disability, you must prove that your skin cancer will make you unable to work for at least one year. There are three ways to meet this requirement.
(1.) Meeting a Blue Book Social Security Listing for Skin Cancer
Social Security provides listings in their so-called “blue book,” that describe certain ailments that qualify you for disability benefits. To meet a Blue Book listing, you or your attorney must prove that you have all of the requirements of that given listing.
To meet the Blue Book Listing for Skin Cancer (13.03) you must prove you have one of the following:
- Sarcoma or carcinoma that has spread beyond the local lymph nodes.
- Melanoma that comes back even after the cancer and skin around the cancer was removed.
- Melanoma that has spread to a lymph node that is clinically apparent or to four or more lymph nodes.
- Melanoma that has spread to nearby skin or to distant sites.
(2.) Equaling a Social Security Disability Listing for Skin Cancer
If you are not able to meet one of the skin cancer listings above, but have impairments that are similar to a listing, you may be able to “equal” a listing. To equal the listing, you must show that your impairment is similar to another listing and equals that listing in severity and length.
(3.) Proving Inability to Work for a Year with Skin Cancer
Even if you do NOT “meet” or “equal” a Blue Book listing, you can still qualify to receive Social Security Disability if you can show that your skin cancer makes it impossible for you to work in any job for a year or more.
This means that you cannot perform any job that falls within your abilities based on an assessment used by Social Security that considers your age, education level, and work experience, in addition to your impairments. Your impairment will be assessed using a “Residual Functional Capacity” assessment.
Remember, in order to show that you meet a listing, equal a listing or simply are unable to work for a year or more, your medical records must contain the proper medical evidence. You records should include: the type of cancer; where it started; where it has spread; any biopsies; operative and pathology notes; all treatments received, including the type, length & effect.
For this reason it is important to discuss your situation with an experienced Social Security Disability attorney, especially in skin cancer cases. Because the prognosis can be very good for skin cancer – and many of the treatments are relatively fast – Social Security will often deny SSDI benefits for sarcomas, carcinomas and melanomas – even when they have debilitating effects on a person.
Long Beach Social Security Disability Attorneys
Our experienced Social Security Disability attorneys have handled many skin cancer cases in Long Beach, Orange County and the Los Angeles area. Our attorneys are happy to answer your questions and will help you understand the Social Security Disability benefits for which you may qualify – and the best way to obtain them.
If you applied for and were denied Social Security Disability for skin cancer, it is important to contact a Social Security attorney who is experienced in Skin Cancer cases immediately. A Social Security attorney who has experience with cancer cases will be able to help you present the documentation you need, and obtain the maximum benefits for which you qualify.
Our Long Beach Social Security attorneys have obtained millions of dollars for cancer stricken workers. We know how the California Social Security system works and are here to help you obtain your Social Security Disability benefits.
Social Security Disability Attorneys for Cancer Cases: 562-622-4800
Our Long Beach Social Security Attorneys have obtained millions of dollars in benefits for ill and injured workers across Southern California, Los Angeles & Orange County, including: Anaheim, Arcadia, Avalon, Bel Air, Bellflower, Beverly Hills, Carson, Castaic, Century City, Cerritos, Chatsworth, City of Industry, Commerce, Compton, Costa Mesa, Culver City, Downey, East Los Angeles, El Monte, El Segundo, Encino, Gardena, Garden Grove, Glendale, Hawthorne, Hemet, Hermosa Beach, Inglewood, Huntington Beach, Inland Empire, Irwindale, La Canada Flintridge, La Crescenta, La Puente, Laguna Hills, Lakewood, Lancaster, Lawndale, Lomita, Long Beach, Los Angeles County, Lynwood, Manhattan Beach, Marina Del Rey, Maywood, Melrose, Fairfax, Mission Hills, Monrovia, Montebello, Monterey Park, Montrose, Newhall, North Hollywood, Northridge, Orange County, Palmdale, Palos Verdes, Paramount, Pico Rivera, Porter Ranch, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rancho Santa Margarita, Redondo Beach, Rosemead, San Diego, San Gabriel, San Marino, San Pedro, Santa Ana, Santa Clarita, Santa Fe Springs, Santa Monica, South El Monte, South Gate, Studio City, Sylmar, Temple City, Toluca Lake, Topanga, Torrance, West Hollywood, West Los Angeles, Westminster, Westwood, Whittier and more.