While a diagnosis of cancer is enough to devastate anyone, it is not enough, in and of itself, to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. Social Security Disability lawyers in San Francisco, CA want you to understand that to qualify for benefits, the baseline requirements must be met.

This means that your condition (or the treatment for your condition) must be severe enough to prevent you from performing any type of gainful work activity, and it must be expected to last for at least 12 consecutive months. If the treating physician documents that you will be unable to work for at least 12 months, you will be able to file your claim at that time. Those suffering from less serious forms of cancer may not qualify for SSDI benefits.

Changes in Disability Benefits for Cancer Patients

Around thirty years ago, a diagnosis of cancer was often seen as a death sentence. Fortunately, treatment modalities have evolved, meaning many cancers are now treatable. While this is very encouraging for all cancer patients, it means that many people who might have once received benefits upon diagnosis, will not be eligible for disability insurance in Oakland, CA. Many patients who suffer through months of intensive treatment thankfully see their health mostly restored in less than a year’s time.

When a cancer prognosis is uncertain, we may recommend applying for benefits, as you can always withdraw the application. The wait for a decision is extremely lengthy, therefore, it is advisable to begin the process sooner rather than later if you believe your treatment and recovery may extend past the 12-month timeline.

Social Security recently added a “compassionate allowance” program which is meant to fast-track claims process for anyone who receives certain diagnoses. These include most stage-four cancers. Generally, if a cancer is inoperable and not likely to respond to radiation, chemotherapy, or other standard treatments, the claim will be granted.

Blue Book Cancer Listing

Once you apply for disability benefits with the SSA, the person who reviews your claim will refer to the Blue Book listing for cancer, included under Section 13.00. With proper documentation, proving your condition meets the guidelines set forth by the SSA, you should have no problem qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits. However, if you do not have enough documentation to satisfy the SSA’s requirements, you may need to follow through with the disability appeals process to obtain the benefits you are entitled to.

Applying For Cancer Disability Benefit

There is often a bit of hesitation when it comes to applying for disability insurance when facing a cancer diagnosis. It is important to focus on recovery, and declaring yourself disabled can make you feel like you’re losing the battle. However, the prospect of receiving a monthly benefit payment and medical benefits should not be disregarded.

Not only could SSDI help pay for treatment, and reduce overall stress, but just like any other type of insurance, you have been paying “premiums” out of your paycheck throughout your life, and you are entitled to these benefits.


People are often months into treatment before they consider applying for disability insurance in Oakland, CA. Documentation from an official and accurate source will be necessary for a successful claim, and clinical records alone do not paint the whole picture.

The course of radiation and/or chemotherapy is cumulative, unpredictable, and often debilitating – depression is a common side-effect and should be documented. A patient diary can also be useful, as well as observations from family and friends documenting ongoing weakness, nausea, and fatigue. This combined information can show the true effect of the disease and subsequent treatment as well as the inability to work.

Applying for SSDI in San Francisco, CA

If you are dealing with a cancer treatment, the last thing you need is one more thing to research and worry about. Working with a dedicated disability lawyer can help relieve the extra stress of going through the Social Security Disability application process. If you have already had your application denied, it is highly recommended that you retain the services of a qualified disability attorney.

The good news is, that while a whopping 70 percent of claims are denied, more than two-thirds of those are won at the hearing stage of the appeal process. Nevertheless, it is important to understand that legal representation will greatly increase your chances of receiving a favorable outcome.

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If you have received a cancer diagnosis, and you believe you are eligible for Social Security Disability, Medicaid, or Medicare benefits to help fight this disease. Our law firm is here to help and we invite you to contact us today.

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