If you are diagnosed with breast cancer one of your options may be to apply for disability benefits. This can help you not only secure the proper insurance coverage but it can also help you cover an array of other expenses. The following is a short overview of what it takes to be eligible for SSD/SSI benefits when you have breast cancer.

Being Diagnosed

Given the complex nature of the disease, breast cancer can be detected and diagnosed in a variety of ways. The most common methods of which are biopsies, MRI imaging, and mammograms. However, it is vital to know that as effective as these screenings can be, they are not capable of diagnosing inflammatory breast cancer. In this case, a surgical biopsy must be completed and you must also allow them to take a sample of the breast tissue underneath the area. Either way, it is almost impossible to receive a diagnosis, if you do not first receive a screening for the disease.

Are you Eligible?

Although it is ideal that everyone who needs treatment would automatically receive it, that just isn’t the case. Once you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, there are three ways to be found medically eligible for disability benefits. If you need coverage, you must take the time to apply for the necessary coverage. The three ways to be found eligible are as follows:

Qualifying for a Compassionate Allowance

Simply put, to qualify for a compassionate allowance, you must be in fairly poor health. Under these circumstances, your application would typically be expedited in order to receive your decision within a month’s time. The following types of cancer would make you eligible for a compassionate allowance:
  • Inflammatory breast cancer
  • Ductal Carcinoma of the Breast (stage IV)
  • Breast Carcinoma (stage IV)
  • Metastatic Breast Carcinoma
  • Metastatic Ductal Carcinoma
  • lobular Carcinoma of the Breast (stage IV)
  • Metastatic Lobular Carcinoma
Another way to be medically eligible for disability benefits is by having one of the following issues:
  • Inflammatory carcinoma
  • Distant Metastases (when cancer spreads from the original tumor to distant lymph nodes and/or organs)
  • Metastases to ten or more axillary nodes
  • Metastases to the Infraclavicular or Supraclavicular nodes
  • Recurrent Carcinoma (excluding a local recurrence that is controlled by treatment).
  • Metastases to the Ipsilateral internal mammary nodes
  • A tumor with direct extension to the chest wall or skin

Medical-Vocational Allowance

Lastly, when you are deemed ineligible based on the other criteria, it is typically because your cancer is not considered advanced enough. However, since cancer is a highly complex disease, you may still be eligible. By allowing the SSA to assess your functional capabilities, you could be deemed eligible based on your inability to complete various everyday tasks. For instance, most positions require a level of sitting, lifting, walking, etc.
Overall, being diagnosed with breast cancer may be one of the scariest experiences of your life. However, being forward thinking and proactive with regards to your treatment can mean a world of difference. If you do not have the necessary funds or benefits to get the necessary treatments, this can be to your detriment. However, you still have a few ways to secure this funding by applying for social security benefits.
If you have breast cancer and are seeking legal assistance consider the Good Law Group for your legal needs.