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Can you apply for SSDI if you have cancer?

On Behalf of | Mar 12, 2021 | SSDI

 Of all the diseases people fear, cancer is probably number one. Many are so worried they dare not say its name. Instead, they refer to it by euphemisms like, “The Big C” or “ The thing we do not mention.”

You might think cancer entitles you to automatic Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (SSDI). Unfortunately, as with any other condition, obtaining benefits is not that simple.

SSDI cares more about the effects of an illness than the type

The Social Security Administration (SSA) looks for several things when reviewing your application. Chief among them, they will look at the following questions:

  • How does the condition you have disable you? There are several types of cancer, and some are more severe than others. Specific stages of cancer will be more debilitating than others. Some people respond better to treatment than others. Treatments such as chemotherapy can have greater side effects on some than on others. There are many variables, and no case is the same. The SSA wants to see how your cancer leaves you unable to work.
  • Will it disable you for 12 months or more? If doctors catch your cancer early and think they can rid you of it quickly, you might not qualify for SSDI. Even if you do qualify, the SSA will review your case regularly. If they feel you have made a sufficient recovery, they may end your entitlement to benefits. For this reason, it’s often difficult to obtain disability benefits for cancer (unless it is a particularly aggressive form or has already spread) early after diagnosis. 

Applying for SSDI can be a draining process. Yet, if your cancer or the treatment for it leaves you unable to work, you may need that money to survive. An attorney with experience in helping people apply for SSDI can do most of the work for you. That leaves you free to concentrate on fighting for your health.