Social Security Disability: Qualifying for Benefits When You Have Cancer That Goes into Remission Periodically
If you have been battling cancer and you have applied for social security disability benefits, you may be surprised to learn that benefits are not automatically approved. Even when you are unable to work and your medical treatment is extensive, the waiting period to receive benefits is five months. You begin receiving payments at the start of your sixth month of disability, which is determined by establishing an onset date. In general, the date you are diagnosed with cancer is the established onset date or EOD.
Going into Remission during Cancer Treatment
While it is a positive sign when you go into remission during cancer treatment, this can cause problems with your social security disability application. When you go into remission, no matter how temporary, you are no longer considered disabled because of your cancer. Your doctor may refer to you as having "no evidence of disease," and you are then considered cancer-free at the moment. If your cancer returns, the waiting period starts over again. This is particularly stressful for an individual who responds well to treatment for several months, goes into remission, and then finds that their cancer has come back.
Social Security's Specific Criteria to Approve Your Disability Claim
It is clear that cancer treatments and living with any type of cancer can keep you out of work, making it very difficult to take care of your basic needs. If your cancer is not considered terminal or you are not expected to have the cancer for the next twelve months, your benefit application will be denied. This is an unfortunate aspect of the social security disability process, and one that can put many cancer patients into poverty quickly.
Blue Book Exceptions for Disability Benefits When You Have Cancer
If you have received a denial for social security disability benefits, you may qualify using the blue book established by the social security administration. This book uses very specific guidelines to assess your cancer, whether it has spread, where it originated, how long treatment is expected to last, and more. Using the blue book as a guideline, your treatment providers can be more detailed about your cancer and all that it entails. This is useful in cases when the treatment is complicated and remission is short lived, yet you don't have a terminal diagnosis.
If you are fighting for social security disability benefits because of a cancer diagnosis, call an attorney today from a firm like Connor Law to discuss your options.