Cancer and Leukemia

To qualify you as being "disabled" for purposes of obtaining Social Security benefits, your illness must prevent you from performing "substantial gainful activity" and last at least 12 months or be expected to result in death. "Substantial gainful activity" means work that earns over a certain dollar amount (currently $1,170.00 gross per month).

Cancer is a very disturbing diagnosis, but it does not necessarily mean you will qualify for Social Security benefits. On the other hand, certain cancers are taken very seriously and qualify for expedited consideration. Normally the process of applying and appealing for disability benefits takes many months. The cancer must be inoperable, have metastasized or have recurred after treatment. Side effects from treatment may also show you cannot sustain employment. Documentation that can be verified is required. When applying, you will need the names and addresses of treating doctors, dates of treatment and hospitalizations. Our office can advise you of the likelihood of obtaining benefits in your case, and assist you in making the best and most complete application. There are multiple listings or categories under which your cancer may qualify you for benefits.

With early diagnosis and treatment, breast cancer has a favorable cure rate. For many people, it is the side effects of the medical treatment and not the illness that causes disability. The pain and side effects of radiation therapy, chemotherapy or surgical removal of tumors may make it difficult or impossible to continue working. Social Security Disability also allows for a closed period of disability. If you are in remission, you can collect retroactive benefits if you were forced to stop working for a period of 12 consecutive months or more. One of the most common reasons cancer claims are denied is that the medical records do not reflect the person's symptoms. People are sometimes in denial about their illness and may tell their doctor that they are feeling "fine," "good" or "better," without mentioning that they were in bed for two days, napped daily due to fatigue or cannot stand up without feeling dizzy or nauseous. We urge our clients to be honest with their doctors about the true nature, frequency and severity of their symptoms, including things such as poor sleep, the need for naps, nausea, vomiting, and malaise.

Leukemia

A form of cancer, leukemia causes the bone marrow to reduce malignant white blood cells which overwhelm the marrow and the blood stream. Acute leukemia is on a list of conditions calling for "compassionate allowance," warranting expedited processing. Many other advanced forms of cancer are also on the "compassionate allowance" list.

Breast Cancer

Being diagnosed with breast cancer is devastating news, but a diagnosis alone is not grounds for Social Security Disability. Many people survive cancer and lead long, fruitful lives. Some people continue working even while they are undergoing treatment. Every case is unique. It is possible to get disability benefits for a treatable cancer or a cancer since in remission, but the claim is only as strong as the medical records. Whether you are considering a claim or already denied, our experience can help.

The legal team at the Disability and Injury Law Offices of David R. Machek, Esq. helps clients pursue disability benefits for cancer and for the debilitating complications of fighting cancer such as chemotherapy and radiation sickness. We take cases in the Philadelphia Metro area and surrounding counties of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We explain to clients the most effective way to get their treatments and impairments properly documented by doctors.

Contact us online or call (215) 886-0398 to arrange a free initial consultation with our lawyer about SSD/SSI eligibility and cancer.