Financial stresses are among the many traumas that accompany a cancer diagnosis. If you have been diagnosed with cancer and are worried about how you will pay your bills and put bread on the table, there may be hope in the form of Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.
Do I qualify?
Cancer patients may face debilitating symptoms and the treatment itself may cause chronic impairments. If you are being treated with chemotherapy or radiation you may experience significant fatigue, cognitive impairment and other problems that make it extremely difficult to work. Advanced forms of leukemia, lymphoma, breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer and other forms of cancer certainly can impair your ability to sustain work on a regular and continuing basis.
A cancer diagnosis will not automatically make you eligible for SSD benefits. You must meet all of the requirements of eligibility. The initial threshold requirements are:
- Your condition must have lasted at least 12 months or be expected to last at least 12 months
- You must be disabled to the extent you are no longer able to perform full-time work on a regular and continuing basis
- You must have worked enough and recently enough to have paid into the system
If you haven’t worked at all or only a little in the last 10 years, you may not qualify for SSD. You may, however, qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If you have worked a fair amount in the last 10 years, you may qualify for SSD. An attorney who is knowledgeable in the SSD eligibility requirements can help you understand if you qualify.
Documentation makes all the difference
An experienced SSD attorney can help you compile the evidence you need to successfully pursue the benefits you need and deserve.