The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes cancer as a disability. Unfortunately, it doesn’t make it easy to obtain Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits for cancer. You must convince the SSA you have been sick for at least a year, expect to be sick that long, or that your disease is terminal. The SSA also requires another step. You must show that you can’t work anymore because of your illness.
One of the experienced disability attorneys at Marc Whitehead & Associates can offer professional advocacy, making all the difference in applying for those benefits or appealing a denial. Our team is also knowledgeable in these processes for group disability plans which are governed by federal law known as the Employee Retirement Income Security Act – a.k.a. ERISA. Call today for a free consultation.
Social Security and the Blue Book of Approved Illnesses
The SSA includes most forms of cancer as a disability and lists them in The Bluebook. Even if your form of cancer is not expressly listed, the SSA will consider your type of cancer if you can prove that it has become so severe that it impacts your ability to work.
What the Bluebook Says About Cancer and Work
The Bluebook recognizes many commonly occurring cancers as leading to disability. Examples include cancers of the lung, blood, pancreas, and breast. The rules also allow for establishing rarer forms of cancer as a disability. It’s equally important to show your work and earnings history and your inability to earn money because of the disease.
The SSA expects you to show that you can’t do the tasks required in your current job and that your illness and treatments prevent you from doing any work you are qualified for, given your training and education.
Should I Apply For Benefits If My Cancer Is Already Far Along?
You should apply for SSDI even when you are very sick. If your cancer is inoperable, terminal, or late stage, you may qualify for a Compassionate Allowance, which is an expedited review of your application by SSA. Attorneys for disability benefits can pursue this for you.
ERISA and Group Disability Plans
Group disability plans are governed by federal law known as the Employee Retirement Income Security Act – a.k.a. ERISA. Cancer, mental illness such as depression or anxiety conditions, and other diseases may also be covered by your ERISA disability policy. However, these claims are routinely denied by insurance companies. If you need disability benefits that have been denied, you may also need to seek the services of an experienced ERISA disability benefits lawyer.
What if I Applied for Cancer Disability and Was Denied?
Denial is not the end of the road. A disability rights attorney at Marc Whitehead & Associates can appeal your case. SSA denies more than half of initial disability applications. However, a majority of SSA appeals are successful. In addition, for the strongest appeal possible, a good ERISA disability lawyer will position your case for success with evidence that explains why the insurer’s denial was wrong.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
Marc Whitehead & Associates helps clients nationwide with disability appeals through group plans (ERISA) and SSDI. We appreciate how vital these benefits are to you–especially as you fight cancer. Your focus should be on healing, not paperwork. We don’t require travel to our office, we don’t require money upfront because we get paid when you do, we build as strong a case possible, and gather all necessary evidence. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation about your cancer diagnosis and how to get the benefits you need.