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Cancer and Social Security Disability Benefits

By R. M. Bottger

 

Whenever a person is diagnosed with cancer, the first reaction is often fear of dying. Then, the the person often undergoes surgery. Depending on the type of cancer, the person may undergo chemotherapy or radiation therapy, which have unpleasant side effects. Under these circumstances, it comes as a great shock to the person to get a letter from the Social Security Administration stating that he or she does not qualify for Social Security disability benefits. However, this often happens.

            For the purpose of Social Security disability benefits and Supplemental Security Income disability benefits, an impairment must be expected to last at least twelve months in a row or be expected to end in death to be found disabling. (See How Long Must Your Impairment Last to Qualify for Disability Benefits?) Many cancers respond to treatment, and the patient is able to return to work in less that twelve months. For most types of cancer, if the personís cancer has been removed by surgery and has not come back or spread to other parts of his or her body, then the person will not qualify for Social Security disability benefits. If you have other medical impairments in addition to your cancer, be sure to list these on your application for Social Security disability benefits; if your cancer is not found to be disabling, maybe some of your other impairments will be. I have listed here what the Social Security Administration requires for different types of cancer to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. The descriptions of what is required for different types of cancer are very technical. Your doctor can help you decide if your form of cancer meets these requirements for Social Security disability benefits.

     Scroll down and click on the type of cancer that you have in order to see how Social Security evaluates that particular kind of cancer to determine eligibility for Social Security disability benefits.

 

Cancer of the Head and Neck (Except Salivary Glands, Thyroid Gland, and Mandible, Maxilla, Orbit, or Temporal Fossa)   

 Sarcoma of the Skin   

Sarcoma of the Soft Parts    

Malignant Melanoma 

Cancer of the Lymph Nodes 

Carcinoma or Sarcoma of the Salivary Glands  

Cancer of the Thyroid Gland 

Breast Cancer

Cancer of the Skeletal System (Exclusive of the Jaw) 

Cancer of the Mandible, Maxilla, Orbit, or Temporal Fossa

Cancer of the Brain or Spinal Cord  

 Lung Cancer

Cancer of the Pleura or Mediastinum      

Cancer of the Abdomen    

Cancer of the Esophagus or Stomach  

Cancer of the Small Intestine     

Carcinoma or Sarcoma of the Large Intestine (From Ileocecal Valve to and Including Anal Canal)    

Cancer of the Liver or Gallbladder   

Cancer of the Pancreas 

Carcinoma of the Kidneys, Adrenal Glands, or Ureters 

Carcinoma of the Urinary Bladder  

Carcinoma of the Prostate Gland

Cancer of the Testicles 

Carcinoma or Sarcoma of the Uterus (Corpus or Cervix) 

Cancer of the Ovaries     

 Leukemia

Carcinoma or Sarcoma of the Uterine (Fallopian) Tubes

      Carcinoma of the Penis

Carcinoma of the Vulva

 

   

 

  


 

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