Long Beach Attorneys Explain:
Collecting Social Security for Lung Cancer
Our experienced Social Security attorneys are frequently asked what the fastest way is to collect Social Security Disability for Lung Cancer. Sadly, Lung cancer is an extremely debilitating type of cancer that makes it difficult or impossible to work – and those who suffer from it need their benefits as quickly as possible.
While a history of smoking can increase the possibility of obtaining lung cancer, many people who have never smoked also contract this disease. Exposure to asbestos air pollution, arsenic, and other carcinogens, as well as hereditary factors, can result in lung cancer.
The two main types of lung cancer are defined as non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer. Non-small cell lung cancer – which spreads slowly – is the more common and is found in more than 80% of lung cancers. Small cell lung cancer is a more aggressive but less common form of lung cancer, and can be either small cell carcinoma, or oat cell cancer, or combined small cell carcinoma.
Qualifying for Social Security Disability with Lung Cancer
To qualify for Social Security Disability, you must prove that your lung cancer will make you unable to work for at least one year. There are multiple ways to meet this requirement.
(1.) Meeting a Blue Book Social Security Listing for Lung Cancer
Social Security provides listings in a “blue book,” of certain ailments that “automatically” qualify you for disability benefits.
To meet the Blue Book Listing for Lung Cancer (13.14) you must prove you have one of the following:
- Non-small-cell carcinoma that is inoperable, unresectable, recurrent or metastatic disease to or beyond the hilar nodes; or
- Small-cell (oat cell) carcinoma; or
- Carcinoma of the superior sulcus with multimodal antineoplastic therapy.
(2.) Equaling a Social Security Disability Listing for Skin Cancer
If you are not able to meet one of the lung cancer listings above, but you have lung cancer that is similar to a listing, you may be able to “equal” a listing. To equal the listing, you must show that your illness is similar to one of the blue book listings in severity, impact 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 above, you can still qualify to receive Social Security Disability for lung cancer if you can show that your lung cancer makes it impossible for you to work in any job for a year or more.
This means that you are unable to perform any job 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 degree of impairment will be assessed using a “Residual Functional Capacity” assessment.
For example you might suffer from severe fatigue that prevents you from walking and standing for long periods of time. Or you may need to wear oxygen equipment that prevents you from being able to hold a job. Alternatively the nausea from your chemotherapy treatment s may be so severe as to make you unable to work.
(4.) Compassionate Allowance for Lung Cancer
The fastest way to obtain Social Security Disability benefits for Lung Cancer is to qualify for a “Compassionate Allowance.” This is a “fast-track program that helps individuals with more dire medical conditions obtain their SSDI more rapidly.
To qualify for the Compassionate Allowance fast-track program, you must have medical proof that you have one of the following:
- Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, with metastases to or beyond the hilar nodes or that is inoperable, unresectable or recurrent; or
- Small Cell Lung Cancer
Keep in mind that, in order to show that you qualify for a Compassionate Allowance, or that you “meet” or “equal” a blue book listing, or that you are simply are unable to work, your medical records must contain specific medical proof. You medical records should include evidence of: 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 individual case with an experienced Social Security Disability attorney. Especially in cases where you need your Social Security Disability benefits immediately, it is important to ensure that there are no unnecessary delays or denials.
Our Long Beach Social Security attorneys have obtained millions of dollars for cancer stricken workers. We know how the California Workers Comp system works and how to obtain the maximum benefits for which you qualify.