Disability Benefits


A number of cancer survivors undergo an unfortunate loss of weakened body systems which may quite often cause temporary or permanent problems in adaptive functioning. At times, these complications or relapsing side effects may not come for years after having successfully treated your cancer. In this case, it is important to keep all medical evidence documented for at least last 2 years to be able to qualify for disability benefits on lasting effects or side effects of cancer.

When you are able to reproduce long term disabling effects of your anti cancer treatments, it may be easier to qualify for SSDI benefits. The SSA would consider your case using three types of criteria:

  • The type of cancer and its location.
  • The extent of involvement when the cancer was first demonstrated.
  • Your symptoms.

Other criteria would be the duration of your impairment arising from cancer.

Duration of impairment to be disabling

This means how long after the treatment would your impairment be counted as a disabling condition arising from the cancer. This includes three basic criterion for measurement by the SSA:

  1. In some types of cancers, disabling effects arising within 12 months of the anti cancer treatment would be accepted as disabling impairments resulting from the cancer, hence eligible to qualify for disability benefits. For impairments arising after 12 months of anticancer treatment, you would be required to justify that through medical reports and your doctor’s notes.
  2. When the listing does not specify the relapse time of the disabling condition, then any impairment arising within 3 years of the start of complete remission of the cancer may be counted as eligible to qualify for benefits.
  3. If you have a recurrent or relapse of the cancer, you would automatically qualify to be eligible for SSDI benefits.

Radiation and chemotherapy has also been associated with problems such as heart problems, liver problems, lung diseases, bone weakness, cataracts, reproductive disorders, hypothyroidism, intestinal problems, cognitive dysfunction and eye problems, to name a few. If you can show evidence that you developed any of these impairments as a result of your anti cancer treatment, then the SSA would evaluate the impairment on its own as one of the impairments in the listing, without connecting necessarily to cancer as an impairment.

No more disabling due to cancer!

When you have successfully evicted your cancer and any types of metastases, tumors or lymph nodes associated with it and have not developed any of the problems arising from cancer within three years of remission, then any problem arising after that period will no more be considered disabling due to that specific cancer.

On another note, this means that if you are granted disability benefits due to that specific cancer, then the disability award will stand for a minimum of three years, even if the cancer seems to have been successfully treated before the end of three years of the disability award.

If you were diagnosed with cancer and believe you qualify for disability benefits, our attorneys can evaluate your case and explain your legal options. We encourage you to contact us for a free legal consultation.