Cancer and Social Security Disability (SSDI) and SSI

This page will discuss Cancer and SSDI and SSI.  There are many types of cancers and some may be a disability by themselves while others may be disabling in combination with other impairments or the treatment for the cancer itself.  I will discuss the different ways Social Security looks at cancer and what it means to your case for disability.  If you have questions or need a lawyer call me at 1-877-527-5529.

The most common cancers according to the National Cancer Institute are bladder cancer, melanoma, breast cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, colon and rectal cancer, pancreatic, endometrial, prostate, kidney, skin cancer (non-melanoma), leukemia, thyroid cancer, and lung cancer.  Even though these are the most common they are by no means the only cancers SSA considers when determining if you are disabled.  I will discuss more about how SSA determines if your cancer is disabling below.  For now, the important thing to know is that any cancer can be a disability.  So how does this cancer limit you and prevent you from working, because believe it or not most people who apply with cancer will not be on the list for compassionate allowances and many will not meet or equal a listed impairment.

Find Disability Lawyer for Cancer

On this page you'll find a link to the medical listings of impairments for cancer. It is important to remember that you do not have to meet or equal a listed impairment to be found disabled and the same applies for different types of cancers. On this page I provide a list of the cancers on the list for compassionate allowances. If your cancer is on this list then your case is supposed to be singled out and you're supposed to get a quicker and favorable determination. However it is important to note that even if you have the name of the cancer on the list you should read what it says after the name because many of these cancers are common cancers and require a certain severity for you to be granted a compassionate allowance. For example: breast cancer is on the list but only breast cancer with distant metastasis or inoperable or unresectable. It is also important to note that this list of compassionate allowances is not the same thing as the medical listings of impairments. If you have one of the cancers on the compassionate allowance list you are granted a quicker favorable determination. If your cancer is not a list you can still meet or equal listed impairment however your case is not decided quicker or automatically considered favorable as would be the case with the compassionate allowance.

Medical Listing of Impairments for Cancer

Most cancers are covered under the medical listing of impairment 13.00 Malignant Neoplastic Diseases.  The specific listings are:
13.18 Large intestine
13.19 Liver or gallbladder
13.20 Pancreas
13.21 Kidneys, adrenal glands, or ureters-carcinoma
13.22 Urinary bladder-carcinoma
13.23 Cancers of the female genital tract--carcinoma or sarcoma
13.24 Prostate gland--carcinoma
13.25 Testicles
13.26 Penis
13.27 Primary site unknown
13.28 Malignant neoplastic diseases treated by bone marrow or stem cell transplantation
To see any of the above medical listing in detail simply click on the link above.

Compassionate Allowance for Cancers

Below you will find a list of cancers that are subject to an almost immediate and favorable determination. This list is a result of a new social security initiative to speed up claims for those with obvious and many times life-threatening disabilities. This list will not be found in the five step process that determines disability. Social Security has a program that looks for certain medical conditions and pulls them out for special consideration. If your cancer is on this list (at the severity required on the list) then you should be given a quick favorable determination.

Compassionate allowances are a way of quickly identifying diseases and other medical conditions that invariably qualify under the Listing of Impairments based on minimal objective medical information. Compassionate allowances will allow Social Security to quickly target the most obviously disabled individuals for allowances based on objective medical information that we can obtain quickly.  For a full list as of December 2012 visit my page on compassionate allowance conditions.

1 Acute Leukemia
2 Adrenal Cancer - with distant metastases or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent
3 Alexander Disease (ALX) - Neonatal and Infantile
4 Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
5 Anaplastic Adrenal Cancer - with distant metastases or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent
6 Astrocytoma - Grade III and IV
7 Bladder Cancer - with distant metastases or inoperable or unresectable
8 Bone Cancer - with distant metastases or inoperable or unresectable
9 Breast Cancer - with distant metastases or inoperable or unresectable
10 Canavan Disease (CD)
11 Cerebro Oculo Facio Skeletal (COFS) Syndrome
12 Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) - Blast Phase
13 Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) - Adult
14 Ependymoblastoma (Child Brain Tumor)
15 Esophageal Cancer
16 Farber's Disease (FD) - Infantile
17 Friedreichs Ataxia (FRDA)
18 Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD), Picks Disease -Type A - Adult
19 Gallbladder Cancer
20 Gaucher Disease (GD) - Type 2
21 Glioblastoma Multiforme (Brain Tumor)
22 Head and Neck Cancers - with distant metastasis or inoperable or uresectable
23 Infantile Neuroaxonal Dystrophy (INAD)
24 Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC)
25 Kidney Cancer - inoperable or unresectable
26 Krabbe Disease (KD) - Infantile
27 Large Intestine Cancer - with distant metastasis or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent
28 Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome (LNS)
29 Liver Cancer
30 Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL)
31 Metachromatic Leukodystrophy (MLD) - Late Infantile
32 Niemann-Pick Disease (NPD) - Type A
33 Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer - with metastases to or beyond the hilar nodes or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent
34 Ornithine Transcarbamylase (OTC) Deficiency
35 Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) - Type II
36 Ovarian Cancer - with distant metastases or inoperable or unresectable
37 Pancreatic Cancer
38 Peritoneal Mesothelioma
39 Pleural Mesothelioma
40 Pompe Disease - Infantile
41 Rett (RTT) Syndrome
42 Salivary Tumors
43 Sandhoff Disease
44 Small Cell Cancer (of the Large Intestine, Ovary, Prostate, or Uterus)
45 Small Cell Lung Cancer
46 Small Intestine Cancer - with distant metastases or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent
47 Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) - Types 0 And 1
48 Stomach Cancer - with distant metastases or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent
49 Thyroid Cancer
50 Ureter Cancer - with distant metastases or inoperable, unresectable or recurrent

New Compassionate Allowance Conditions
1. Alstrom Syndrome
2. Amegakaryocytic Thrombocytopenia
3. Ataxia Spinocerebellar
4. Ataxia Telangiectasia
5. Batten Disease
6. Bilateral Retinoblastoma
7. Cri du Chat Syndrome
8. Degos Disease
9. Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease
10. Edwards Syndrome
11. Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva
12. Fukuyama Congenital Muscular Dystrophy
13. Glutaric Acidemia Type II
14. Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), Familial Type
15. Hurler Syndrome, Type IH
16. Hunter Syndrome, Type II
17. Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
18. Junctional Epidermolysis Bullosa, Lethal Type
19. Late Infantile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses
20. Leigh’s Disease
21. Maple Syrup Urine Disease
22. Merosin Deficient Congenital Muscular Dystrophy

Disability for Cancers Not on List or in Remission

If your cancer is not on the compassionate allowance list and you do not meet or equal a listed impairment you can still be found disabled if you can show the limitations from your cancer, treatment, medications and possibly depression secondary to the cancer would first keep you from performing your prior work and also keep you from performing substantial number of other jobs. To understand how Social Security decides your case make sure to read my page were I explain how SSA determines if you are disabled. So what do I mean by limitations from the cancer. One example I see very often is people who have breast cancer often have complications from their mastectomy. This may include limitations in reaching, lifting, using the the hands and arms. As can be seen by my example even if the cancer is gone, the limitations caused by the cancer can continue to exist and limit an individual to an extent that prevents them from substantial gainful employment. What is also common with people who were diagnosed and treated for cancer is they develop depression secondary to this condition. You can see my page on depression and SSD and SSI on how limitations from this condition can significantly interfere with one's ability to work. The treatment is often significantly limiting. Chemotherapy can cause fatigue, nausea, loss of weight, weakness and other side effects that can significantly impact one's ability to work.

We have attempted to provide up to date and accurate information, however the information in this site is not guaranteed.  No attorney client relationship exist.  The information in this site is not a substitute for consultation with a qualified attorney.
© 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 by Kazmierczak & Kazmierczak, LLP. All rights reserved.
If you have cancer and need help with your SSDI or SSI claim conact us we can help at 1-877-527-5529.