Social security disability benefits application.

Could a Cancer Diagnosis Make You Eligible for SSD?

Hearing the words, “you have cancer,” is devastating. With so many questions and concerns on your mind, the last thing you should also have to concern yourself with is how you will continue to work in order to make a living. While some individuals will only be off of work during the course of treatment, others will experience long-term residual effects from the disease and/or its treatment. Luckily, many types of cancer diagnoses can make you eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD).

What is a Compassionate Allowance?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) places these types of cancers under what is referred to as Compassionate Allowances. Compassionate Allowances help to set aside certain medical conditions or diseases as automatically meeting SSD benefit standards. This is extremely helpful in that it greatly helps to lessen the amount of time those suffering from such specific illnesses must wait to receive benefits. 

Expedited Benefits 

As it stands, there are 32 different types of cancer that fall under the category of Compassionate Allowances. Such cancers are expected to either keep you out of work for at least a year or may be terminal. Although in no way extensive, cancers that fall under Compassionate Allowances include:

  • Breast cancer (certain types)
  • Bladder cancer (certain types)
  • Liver cancer 
  • Non-small cell lung cancer 
  • Pancreatic cancer 
  • Thyroid cancer

Most cancers will likely qualify as a Compassionate Allowance if one of the following things has happened:

  • The cancer is inoperable;
  • The cancer is recurrent (despite treatment)
  • The cancer has spread beyond the region in which it started

Those whose conditions are considered to fall into the category of Compassionate Allowances will usually receive their benefits quicker than others without such ailments. And since the application process for SSD benefits can take a minimum of three to five months, this can make a big difference. Unfortunately, however, even after you are approved you must still wait a few more months before you receive your first benefit payment. 

The Pennsylvania SSD Attorneys at Nikolaus & Hohenadel, LLP Can Help; It’s What We Do

When you are struggling with a disability that prevents you from working, you may not know what to do. With diagnostics, hospital treatments, medical bills, prescriptions, and monitoring costs, the financial impact of cancer can be astronomical. (In fact, the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics reported that as of 2014 the average cost of cancer drugs reached $10,000.) Not only must you contend with your condition, but you must also figure out how to put food on the table if you are no longer able to work.

Luckily, the attorneys at Nikolaus & Hohenadel, LLP can help. We understand the impact that a disability can have on your ability to make ends meet. That’s why we’re here to help you. It’s what we do. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!