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Identifying cancer for Social Security Disability

Cancer is not always a disabling condition. Medical technology continues to get better, and there are more and more treatment options, some of which are very successful. An early diagnosis can also catch the disease before it is so advanced that it causes a disability.

However, the opposite is also true: There are definitely times when cancer and the effects of treatment can qualify as a disability due to the fact that they make it impossible to work. This could be true for life or just for the term of the treatment. Even if it is just during treatment, though, that could take weeks, months or even years, so it’s worth considering.

Naturally, the Social Security Administration (SSA) needs proof of the cancer’s existence and its impact on your ability to work. Four specific details that they ask for include:

  • The type of cancer that you have been diagnosed with
  • The extent to which the cancer has developed or spread
  • The site at which that cancer is located
  • Whether it is a primary site, a recurrent form of cancer or a metastatic lesion

This is why getting proper medical care and staying involved with your own medical records is so important. The answers to these questions may lie within documents such as the operative note or the pathology report. Your medical provider should be able to help you find the paperwork to back up your claims, and the SSA needs copies of that paperwork to give you benefits.

This is a complicated and yet important process, so be sure you know what steps to take.

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