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Can I pursue SSD benefits because of cancer therapy?

Missourians who have cancer can pursue Social Security disability benefits for illness. However, depending on the cancer and the treatment the person is receiving, the illness might not be sufficient to meet the criteria to get SSD benefits. Understanding how the anticancer therapy affects the person is important when determining whether they can receive SSD benefits or not.

There are many instances in which the person's cancer will only meet the requirements in the Listing of Impairments to warrant an approval for benefits if the therapy to treat it is ineffective and there is a persistence, progression or recurrence of the disease. The evidence in the case will be used to decide on an approval or denial. There are numerous different aftereffects for treatment, and the Social Security Administration will judge each case on its individual merits.

The following will be factored in when assessing the case: the drugs the person received; what the dosage was; how often it is administered; if there is a plan to continue administering them; what the extent of a surgical procedure was; what the schedule and fields of radiation therapy are; and a description of potential complications. Regarding the complications, the following will be considered: gastrointestinal issues; persistent weakness; cardiovascular problems; and reactive medical disorders.

The aftereffects of the treatment sometimes change as it is given. Sufficient time must pass before the effects can be evaluated. Sometimes, the effects are disabling for at least one year. In such a case, the person might be viewed as unable to take part in normal activities for that time frame. The SSA will consider residual impairments after therapy even if they are not included in the Listings. A medically equivalent issue to a listing will suffice to warrant an approval for SSD benefits.

Having cancer and receiving treatment can be a difficult time. SSD benefits may be available for those who are unable to work because of their illness and treatment. The treatment and its side effects can be vital to receiving an approval for benefits. A legal professional who is experienced in Social Security disability claims can help a person seeking benefits because of cancer and the treatments associated with it.

Source: ssa.gov, "DI 34005.113 Cancer (Malignant Neoplastic Diseases) -- G. How do we consider the effects of anticancer therapy?," accessed Sept. 11, 2017

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Alan E. DeWoskin, P.C.
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