Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be a truly devastating experience, causing you to worry about your future and how you will support yourself while fighting this serious illness. In addition to the physical effects of the cancer itself, you will have to deal with the major physical toll of cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation.
While you’re fighting your cancer, it can be hard to work in any profound capacity, which is why many people with cancer wonder about their eligibility for Social Security benefits. Read about the types of cancer eligible for Social Security disability and find out how you can receive payments while you’re fighting your illness.
Cancers that May Qualify for Social Security Disability
Your first step in receiving your Social Security disability benefits will be to examine what type of cancer you have. Most of the major forms of cancer are eligible for benefits in one way or another, and receiving and documenting an affirmative diagnosis will be integral in receiving the disability payments you need to support yourself during this most trying time.
A few of the different forms of cancer that may qualify you to receive disability benefits include:
- Breast cancer
- Testicular cancer
- Lung cancer or mesothelioma
- Pancreatic cancer and prostate cancer
If you have any of these listed cancers or another of the types mentioned in the Social Security Blue Book, then you should be eligible to apply for benefits.
You Need More than the Diagnosis
Unfortunately, a cancer diagnosis alone will not be enough for you to start receiving your benefits. The most typical way that those fighting cancer will receive disability benefits is as a result of their treatment, and not necessarily the cancer itself. This is particularly true for cancers that are not listed in the Blue Book.
If your form of cancer doesn’t immediately qualify, you will seek a medical vocational allowance, which takes into account several factors, most importantly your residual functional capacity, in order to determine whether you will receive benefits.
For example, chemotherapy, the common cancer treatment, often comes with extreme side-effects like prolonged nausea, extreme fatigue, and mental confusion. If these symptoms reduce your capacity to work or eliminate it completely, you will usually receive benefits based on a medical vocational allowance.
Determining Your Capacity
The best way for you to receive your benefits in a timely manner is to request that your oncologist fill out and submit a residual functional capacity (RFC) form. On this RFC form, your treating physician will outline the extent of your cancer and how much the illness and its treatments will affect your quality of life and ability to work.
A typical RFC form related to cancer should include information about the type of treatment you will receive and how long it will last, lingering effects of your treatment that may interfere with your work capacity and how able you will be to be punctual and perform your work duties.
Ask a Lawyer About Cancer and Disability Benefits
After you receive your cancer diagnosis and are planning to apply for Social Security disability, it’s a good idea to consult with an attorney from the Law Offices of Dr. Bill LaTour. We understand the requirements for receiving disability benefits for cancer, and help guide you through the process so that you can focus on your treatment.
Get in touch with us today and start working towards your disability benefits.