Alan E. DeWoskin, P.C.
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Can I get SSD if I need bone marrow or stem cells for cancer?

Those in Missouri who are diagnosed with cancer will have much to consider. They might wonder how they are going to make ends meet if their treatment leaves them unable to work. This is when they should consider seeking Social Security disability benefits for illness. One issue that frequently arises if an applicant has cancer is whether part of the treatment will include a bone marrow transplant or stem cells being used.

The transplantation must be done before the Social Security Administration will evaluate it for SSD benefits to see if it meets the evidentiary requirements under the Listing of Impairments. There is no rule stating that the determination will begin when the disability started to the date of transplantation or the date of the initial treatment. The SSA can establish the date of disability as earlier if there is evidence to do so.

If the treatment is for acute leukemia or accelerated or blast phase of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and there is bone marrow or stem cell treatment, the person will be considered disabled until a minimum of 24 months from the date the diagnosis was made, or the person experienced a relapse, or a minimum of 12 months from the date of the transplantation -- whichever came later. If it is for lymphoma, multiple myeloma or chronic phase CML and there is bone marrow or stem cell treatment, the person will be viewed as disabled until a minimum of 12 months from the date the transplant was done.

When there are other cancers that are treated in this way, it will be evaluated by the same criteria as above along with whether the transplant came from someone of dissimilar tissue (allogeneic) or taken from the same person (autologous). With allogenic, the person will be considered disabled from a minimum of 12 months from the date the transplant was done. With autologous from the person's own cells or from an identical twin, it will be considered disabling from a minimum of 12 months from the initial treatment.

There are also several residual impairments that came come about from this type of treatment such as graft-versus-host disease, frequent infections and a significant deteriorating of other organ systems. A lawyer may be able to assist people who are suffering from cancer with their Social Security disability claims.

Source: ssa.gov, "Disability Evaluation under Social Security," accessed Nov. 6, 2017

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Alan E. DeWoskin, P.C.
225 South Meramec Avenue, Suite 426
St. Louis, MO 63105

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