How To Qualify For Social Security Disability Benefits With Cancer | Cancer Center (2024)

More than a million people receive a cancer diagnosis each year, and there are more than 200 different types of cancer with varying degrees of seriousness. At Palo Verde Cancer Specialists, we know that fighting cancer is all-encompassing and that it is likely that you won’t be able to work while going through treatment at our oncology center.

Our cancer center has put together this information on how to qualify for Social Security disability benefits for your convenience. Social Security benefits are available to help people who can’t work for at least a year due to an illness like cancer. It will help pay for basic living expenses like utilities, housing, and food. That gives people who are sick a little financial breathing room to concentrate on dealing with their health. But some requirements must be met to be eligible for disability benefits.

Disability Benefits For People With Cancer

All of the medical problems that make someone eligible to receive disability benefits are listed in the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book. Each listing in the Blue Book has a set of requirements that must be met to be considered eligible for disability benefits. Not every type of cancer has a listing in the Blue Book, and the ones that do, have very specific requirements, so please read this information carefully.

In general, any cancer that is Stage IV or terminal will automatically qualify a person to receive disability benefits. A very serious cancer diagnosis qualifies for the Compassionate Allowance program, which expedites the claim for disability benefits to start receiving money quickly. To qualify for Compassionate Allowance, the cancer must meet one of these requirements:

  • The cancer has spread beyond the region of origin
  • The cancer is inoperable
  • The cancer is recurrent despite treatment

If your cancer meets one of these requirements, you should submit a claim as soon as possible for disability benefits. You will also need to submit medical records, such as test results, MRIs, and a cancer diagnosis from an oncologist at our cancer center. The Social Security Administration will automatically flag your claim for Compassionate Allowance because of the seriousness of the diagnosis. You don’t have to ask for Compassionate Allowance.

Residual Functional Capacity

If you don’t meet the Blue Book requirements or if there is no Blue Book listing for the cancer you have, you can qualify for disability benefits by asking for a Residual Functional Allowance exam. The Residual Functional Capacity evaluation is something done by the Social Security Administration. They will look at your skills and the previous jobs you’ve and the impact of your medical condition and treatment. They will determine if there is full-time work you can do based on your skills and the physical or mental illness you have. If they find no full-time work that you can reasonably be expected to do, you may be eligible to receive disability benefits.

Starting A Claim

If you have been diagnosed with cancer, don’t wait to start a claim for Social Security disability benefits. Call to make an appointment at the closest Social Security Administration office. Remember to bring your medical records and other documentation to the appointment. A staff member there can help you fill out and file your claim and ask for a Residual Functional Capacity evaluation if you need one.

Our Cancer Center is Always Here to Help!

If you have any questions or you’d like to make an appointment at our oncology center, please contact us. Together, we can develop a comprehensive treatment plan to help you overcome cancer. We have five convenient locations, so we are always close to you.

Community Oncology Alliance:
SSA Blue Book:
Compassionate Allowance:
Residual Functional Capacity:
Nearest SSA Office:

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    How To Qualify For Social Security Disability Benefits With Cancer | Cancer Center (2024)
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