Helping People With Disabilities Nationwide

Can cancer be a disability?

On Behalf of | Apr 26, 2019 | SSD - Social Security Disability Process And Benefits |

When you get a cancer diagnosis, it definitely changes your life. It’s frightening, it requires extensive treatment and it makes you think hard about what life has in store for you.

But is it a disability? Does it change your life as drastically as a brain injury or a spinal cord injury that left you paralyzed?

It certainly can. While it is not automatically a disability — maybe you have skin cancer, and you just need minor surgery to remove a spot from your forehead, for instance — it can qualify if it impacts your “major life activities.” These may include:

  • Seeing
  • Eating
  • Hearing
  • Taking care of yourself on a daily basis
  • Performing normal manual tasks
  • Walking
  • Sleeping
  • Lifting
  • Standing
  • Bending
  • Breathing
  • Reading
  • Learning
  • Speaking
  • Concentrating
  • Communicating
  • Thinking
  • Working

Obviously, every case is different. What type of cancer do you have? What type of treatment do you need? How long will the treatment last? How advanced is the cancer? These are all important questions to ask.

That said, if it impacts your major life activities, it’s not hard to see why it would qualify as a disability. You may not be able to do the manual and/or cognitive tasks that you used to perform as part of your job. That keeps you from excelling in your career and earning a living. If you had to take time away from work after the diagnosis, the cancer could mean you can never go back.

That is when you need to look into all of the options you may have to seek Social Security Disability benefits.



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